Reading Seventeenth Century Scotland module (HY31016)

On this page


Module code


  • Level 3
  • History - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%


This module introduces you to seventeenth-century Scotland through an examination of different types of sources available for the period. It will cover political and cultural themes. A distinctive aspect of the module will be archive-based training in the reading and interpretation of original manuscript sources.

Some of the themes which the module will cover are:

  • Language
  • Parliament
  • Religion
  • Architecture
  • Literature
  • Political ideas

In this module you will also have the unique opportunity to use original manuscript sources. The key skills training element of the module will consist of archive-based sessions on palaeography (learning to read ancient handwriting).

Not only will this open up numerous possibilities for Level 4 dissertation topics, but it will also make reading bad handwriting much easier.


Dr Alan MacDonald


This module is assessed as follows:

  • 2 x source review 30% & 40%
  • palaeography exercise 30%


For some background reading on the period have a look at:

  • Brown, K. M., Kingdom or Province? Scotland and the Regal Union 1603-1715 (London, 1992).
  • Lynch, M., Scotland: a New History (London, 1991).

For an introduction to medieval and early modern Scottish handwriting:

  • Simpson, G., Scottish Handwriting, 1150-1650: an introduction to the reading of documents (Edinburgh, 1973 and East Linton, 1998).

Access the online reading list system


This module is available on following courses: