Postgraduate taught 

Early Modern History MSc/PgDip

Print, Public Opinion And Enlightenment In 18th-Century Europe HIST5047

  • Academic Session: 2018-19
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course focuses on the Enlightenment in a comparative European context. Particular emphasis will be placed on France, Scotland, the Netherlands and German-speaking central Europe, with scope for additional comparisons across Scandinavia and the north-Italian territories. It will concentrate on the period from the publication of Locke's main works, through to the French revolution and its repercussions all over Europe.


10 x 2 hours

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





1 seminar presentation (30%)

1 x 3000-word essay (70%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

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:

■ introduce students to a range of distinct ways of looking at the Enlightenment in terms both of theoretical and empirical frameworks

■ enable them to apply comparative techniques to individual 18th-century texts of their own choice (defining 'text' in the widest possible sense)

■ situate their particular thematic specialisations in the wider historiographical and methodological contexts available to historians now.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ demonstrate that they can place texts of their choice (1690-1800) accurately in their historical and social context, taking into account the aims of the author, the methods of distribution, and likely reception over a period of time up to c.1800

■ use accurately the available data relating to printed material: changing types of printed material intended for different categories of readers, production and distribution, accessibility, reading skills in social and geographic context, and the internationalisation of the market

■ engage in comparative examination of 'the Enlightenment in national context'

■ discuss terms such as 'public opinion', public space, censorship and freedom of expression accurately with reference to Enlightenment Europe

■ demonstrate a critical understanding of recent interpretations of the Enlightenment

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.