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School of History

HST6712 – The Enthronement of Learning: Medieval Universities and their Legacy

Module code: HST6712

Credits: 30
Semester: YEAR

Module Convenor: Dr Peter Denley

Universities were a medieval creation, and a large part of what we think they are for and how they operate hails back to medieval times. The aim of this QMUL Model special subject module is to investigate how this situation arose; how the institutionalisation of higher education rapidly became so comprehensive, and how medieval academics built the privileges, the systems and ultimately the myths about the academic world that constitute the legacy of the period. The module will cover all three of the traditional 'branches' of university history (institutional, intellectual and social). Topics covered will include: the growth of law, medicine, theology and arts; the emergence of universities at Bologna, Paris and Oxford; the development of a university system across Europe; `old' and `new universities; universities and politics; universities and the state, the church, and their host towns; paradigms of `town and `gown; the financing of higher education; colleges; curricula, forms of study and patterns of learning; books; degrees, careers, professions and elite formation; university life and ritual; images and self-images of students and teachers; the medieval student experience; universities and humanism; the medieval legacy of concepts and `myths of academe. By taking part in an international web development project on 'Student Life: the Medieval Experience', students develop skills in the use of prosopographical databases, and reflect on how these skills can be employed to communicate historical research to the wider community using blog posts and websites. This module MUST be taken in conjunction with HST6700 History Research Dissertation.


Assessment: Source Analysis 1 (500 words) 6.25%, Source Analysis 2 (500 words) 6.25%, Essay 1 (2000 words) 25.00%, Primary Text Source for Web (500 words) 6.25, Primary Visual Source for Web (500 words) 6.25%, Written Examination 50%
Level: 6