This course has concessions available

Medieval London

This course will explore what it was like to live in medieval London. Beginning with the founding of London, we will consider various aspects of what the city was like in the Middle Ages. Beginning with kings and queens and court life, the course will also consider warfare and the crusades. Then, we will turn to religion, also considering the impact of the Black Death and pilgrimage with Chaucer. Well finish with the peasants revolt, thinking about the lives of ordinary people at the end of the fourteenth century. This course will provide a variety of perspectives on how medieval London was experienced, and the traces that remain today.

Who is this course for

No prior knowledge is necessary, and an interest in history of medicine would be ideal. A good understanding of English is essential. If you wish to read before the course, the following book is recommended: Ian Mortimer, The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

What does this course cover

This course takes a broad overview of what life was like in medieval England, specifically medieval London. We will begin by examining how London was created, and how it became the capital city we know today. Then, we'll think about royalty: medieval kings and queens and their court. A look at the crusades will help situate London in its global environs, as well as considering the religious views of its inhabitants. Disasters both medical and political will be assessed through the Black Death and the Peasant's Revolt, and a first-hand perspective on London will be provided by Chaucer.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:
' Give an account of London in the medieval period
' Confidently assess primary and secondary source materials
' Participate in discussions about key aspects of medieval London including politics, literature and religion
' Use the knowledge gained to identify ways that traces of medieval London can still be seen today

What will it be like

Classes will begin with an informative talk by the tutor about each week's subject, which will be followed by a group discussion in a friendly, relaxed environment. This will be structured in a variety of ways, and you will be invited to bring your own questions and ideas to shape the discussion towards things you find most interesting. You will be expected to participate in these in-class discussions and activities such as debates or presentations. There will be a suggested reading for each week, and we will consider extracts from sources in our classes. Further readings will also be provided should you wish to read more widely.

You will be invited to write five blog posts on your reaction to the materials throughout the course - either about five separate weeks, or a combining weeks together. This will help you prepare for the course assessment: a 500 word reflective piece on an idea or object from the course. To support your writing, one of the sessions mid-way through the course will be focused on academic writing skills

What else do you need to buy or do

All course materials will be provided digitally through the Virtual Learning Environment, so there will be no costs for these unless you decide to print them. Please bring something to make notes with- this can be pen/pencil and paper, or a laptop, whichever you feel more comfortable with- or a combination of the two. Access to a computer is advised in order to use the course materials, as well as completing the assignments.

Outside the class, you will be expected to read and reflect on the weekly course materials which should take no longer than two hours. While there will be some in-class time devoted to assessments, you will be expected to complete them in your own time. For the blog posts, this may take around an hour, and for the reflective piece, this may take up to two hours.

Please do let me know if you have any other requirements, and I will do my best to accommodate them e.g., printing documents, using a larger font size or a different background colour for materials. Please also let me know if you have any issues with the deadlines or managing the content for the course and we can find a solution.

What this course could lead to

This course could lead you to consider other history, history of art, philosophy, languages or literature courses run by the centre or elsewhere.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

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Why choose Mary Ward?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’