(HIST053) The Plantagenets at Home and Abroad: Courts, Conflict and Culture

Philip IV and family


Course start date: Monday 22nd April 2025
Course end date: Friday 27th June 2025
Early Bird Price: £135

Tutor:  Lynne Thompson
Course Code: HIST053
Level: Non-accredited, non-credit bearing
Assessments/Exams: None. Throughout the course you will be given ideas and questions to respond to in the online discussion area. Participation in online discussion is encouraged, but not compulsory.
Duration: 10 weeks
Estimated Student Study Time: 5 – 8 hours per week are recommended, but time spent is flexible and at your discretion.
Fee: £150.00
Pre-Requisites: No academic qualifications or experience of studying history is required – only a strong enthusiasm for this subject.
Delivery: Online Distance Learning
Late Entrants: If this course is not full by the start date then late entrants will be accepted for up to two weeks after the start of the course. As a late entrant you can choose to catch up on the material you have missed or you can skip the missed weeks and concentrate on the material at the point where you join the course, but unfortunately we cannot offer fee reductions or course extensions for late entrants.
Recommended Reading**: Texts will be recommended within the course.
Required Reading**: There are no required texts for this course.

**Please note: All courses are subject to sufficient numbers of students registering before they are confirmed as running. Therefore, after booking your place you are advised not to purchase any texts until you have received confirmation that the course is running.


This interdisciplinary course is the part of a suite on the royal houses of England and their courts, the others being:

Although history is the dominant and linking thread, students will encounter aspects of the visual arts, theology, archaeology, music and literature, thereby gaining a broader understanding of the period.

Each weekly unit is accompanied by additional material which expands on themes or issues introduced in the body of each unit. A weekly online discussion forum enables tutors and students to explore them further together

Syllabus Plan

Week 01. Introduction: The Plantagenets historical and dynastic overview; the Houses of Lancaster and York
Week 02. The French connection
Week 03. Courts of love and the joust
Week 04. Castles, strongholds and subjugation – Wales, Scotland, Ireland
Week 05. Robber barons or upholders of the commonweal?
Week 06. Art in the Plantagenet era
Week 07. Music, sacred and secular
Week 08. Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales
Week 09. Urban life and the growth of towns
Week 10. Order and harmony in early modern England

Learning Outcomes

This course will help students to acquire:

  • Knowledge of aspects of the visual arts, theology, archaeology, music and literature;
  • An awareness of the underlying concepts and debates relating to this subject area;
  • Experience of analysing primary source material