Life at the Margins: Sinners, Deviants and Outcasts in Early Modern Scotland, c.1550-c.1750 module (HY31041)

Explore the lives of marginalised people and groups in early modern Scotland.

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Module code


This module explores the experiences and treatment of individuals or groups perceived as different or outside the mainstream in early modern Scotland (from the mid-1500s to mid-1700s). We will look at a series of case studies of discrete marginal groups.

These groups of people include:

  • those in poverty
  • "vagrants" and "itinerants"
  • criminals
  • "witches"
  • highlanders
  • migrants and immigrants
  • "sexual deviants"
  • religious non-conformists
  • women
  • Jacobites and political non-conformists

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • critically analyse different marginal groups in early modern Scotland

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

  • understand why early modern society regarded certain behaviours and backgrounds as abnormal or deviant
  • demonstrate knowledge on how early modern society policed the boundaries of the mainstream

Assignments / assessment

  • essay 3,500 words (45%)
  • oral presentation (15%)
  • research project 2,500 words (40%)

This module does not have a final exam.

Teaching methods / timetable

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • seminars


This module is available on following courses: