• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest History, European Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Tania Colwell
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course introduces students to the people, society, politics, and culture of Western Europe during the later Middle Ages. Focusing primarily on England, but branching into other areas of Western Europe, it will explore some of the socio-political structures, mentalities, and events that contribute to our understanding of the later medieval period.

The later Middle Ages have been interpreted as a time of decline and decay which preceded an enlightened Renaissance or ‘early modern’ era. Candidates will be offered a variety of documentary, literary, and artistic evidence alongside recent historiography to help them reflect upon and critically assess this view. In addition to exploring such themes as social relations, power, and beliefs, this course will engage with concepts of periodisation, including the terms ‘medieval’ and ‘early modern’, and with notions of historical change, transition, and continuity. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. critically discuss major social, political, economic, and cultural structures, events, and themes shaping the later Middle Ages;
  2. evaluate and analyse a range of later medieval sources and modern historiography;
  3. identify and assess evidence of change and continuity throughout the later medieval period;
  4. formulate logical arguments substantiated by research using primary sources and historiography relating to the medieval period;
  5. express ideas clearly in both written and oral modes of communication.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Class participation (10) [LO 1,2,4,5]
  2. Source analysis: 1000 words (20) [LO 2,4,5]
  3. Topical Essay: 2000 words (35) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Synoptic/Reflective Essay: 2000 words (35) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from: 

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorial and tutorial-like activities; and 

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 36 units of ANU courses towards a degree, or with the permission of the convenor.

Prescribed Texts

There are no prescribed texts for HIST2220. However, students are encouraged to read the introductory texts listed under Indicative Readings.

Preliminary Reading

Recommended preliminary reading: 

Marcus Bull, Thinking Medieval: An Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)

S. H. Rigby, ed., A Companion to Britain in the Later Middle Ages (Malden: Blackwell, 2003)

These texts are both available electronically from the ANU Library.

Assumed Knowledge

Some familiarity with historical source analysis and the evaluation of historiography would be an advantage.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $3120
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4800
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8984 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person N/A

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