The Rise of Atlantic Empires, 1500-1750 module (HY11005)

Explore the origins of globalization and gain a comparative understanding of the development of European empires in Africa and the Americas

On this page


Module code


This module is your first introduction to the advanced study of History, and covers basic history-specific skills while exploring the creation of the Atlantic World in the period 1500-1750.

It studies the exchange of goods, people, and ideas that tied together Europe, Africa, and the Americas. More specifically, it examines the origins of modern ‘globalization’ and the development of European empires in Africa and the Americas.

Other module themes include:

  • European relations with indigenous peoples
  • the transatlantic slave trade and comparative patterns of migration
  • the development of a plantation economy
  • the role of inter-imperial conflict in the Americas in European diplomacy

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • receive hands-on training on history-specific skills
  • learn how to critically analyse original documents, journal articles, and books written by historians
  • construct an evidence-based historical argument

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate a nuanced understanding of approaches to the study of the past, which will strengthen your ability to analyse, compare and question existing interpretations
  • demonstrate the skills and confidence required to succeed at university

Assignments / assessment

  • two module portfolios (50% each)
    • portfolios consist of weekly entries of 500 words each
    • if draft entries are submitted on time, tutor feedback is provided in the first half of the semester
    • you are allowed to revise entries in light of tutor comments before the final submission

This module does not have a final exam.

Teaching methods / timetable

  • one-hour lectures
    • twice a week
  • 90 minute tutorials
    • weekly
    • discuss original documents, journal articles, and books with your fellow students and tutor
  • field trips
    • V&A Museum Dundee
    • University Botanic Gardens
    • University Archives


This module is available on following courses: