Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

War, Pestilence, and Climate Change: Ireland and Scotland, c.1300-c.1610 HIST4271

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores the changing relationship between Ireland and Scotland during two key, chronological periods: c.1300-c.1500 and c.1500-c.1610. Using a thematic overview, the first section examines how a series of factors (i.e., war, plague, and climate change) brought about the resurgence of the Gaelic-speaking political order in Ireland and western Scotland during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The advent of the Reformation c.1520 however, placed greater pressures upon Scotland's relationship with Ireland. Set against the backdrop of growing confessional tensions within the British Isles, the second section explores how the politics of the Reformation shaped Ireland's relationship with Scotland during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.


10x1 hour lectures; 5x1hr seminars; 5x1 workshops as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in History and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History, and by arrangements to visiting students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Exam (90 minutes duration)  - 50%

Essay (2500 words) - 40%

Oral Presentation (8 minutes) - 10%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Develop a deeper awareness of the events, people, and environmental phenomena that shaped Ireland's relationship with Scotland during a pivotal period of history.

■ Enhance student's critical and analytical skills, through close reading and engagement with a variety of primary and secondary sources from across the wider Gaelic-speaking world. This will thus help to develop the intellectual skills valued by employers across a wide range of careers.

■ Promote personal development and creativity by fostering and developing student-led interpretations.

■ Provide an opportunity for synthesis of these different critical elements and skills through writing and discussion. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the variety of research and communication skills they are developing over the course of this course in order to align their academic and professional aspirations and competencies and encourage reflective practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Illustrate a critical understanding of the political and environmental events shaping Ireland's relationship with Scotland during period, c.1300-c.1610

■ Recognise the chief methodological and historiographical issues surrounding study of this topic

■ Appraise the main strengths and weaknesses of primary and secondary sources relating to Ireland's changing relationship with Scotland

■ Articulate their argument in clear and concise prose and verbal argument

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.