Kingship, the Kingdom, and Identity: Scotland in the Thirteenth Century module (HY53004)

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Module code


The module aims:

  • To gain an understanding of the development and nature of Scotland’s monarchy and government in the important period immediately before the disruption of the Wars of Independence.
  • To assess the adequacy of the frequently-used description of this period as Scotland’s ‘golden age’.
  • To enquire into the extent to which Scotland could be said to have developed a ‘national identity’ before the end of the reign of Alexander III (1249 – 86).
  • To place these issues in an international context, and particularly that of Anglo-Scottish relations.
  • To consider how historiographical traditions may have distorted our understanding of this period.

The module will cover the following broad areas:

  • Scotland’s distinct and distinctive kingship.
  • The growth of government.
  • Was there an ‘Anglo-Norman Era’ in Scottish history?
  • Was the 13th century a ‘golden age’? Economy and society.
  • Questions of identity.
  • History and mythology: aspects of the historiography of medieval Scotland.




Coursework (100%) consisting of:

  • 55% Essay (4,000 words)
  • 30% Assessed Tasks (2 short essays of c. 1000 words each)

15% Module Journal (c. 500 words every 2 weeks)


Dr Craig Gauld