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Medieval Settlement & Communities - ARC00028M

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Information currently unavailable
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

This module explores the relationships between people, the places they lived, and the institutions they interacted with in the later Middle Ages. Based primarily around archaeological and historical evidence from urban and rural settlements, landscapes, and buildings from across Britain, this class will discuss the material dimensions of society, community, belief, and identity in the medieval period.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

  • to develop an understanding of the wide range of settlements, habitations and environments apparent in the archaeological data for the late medieval period.

  • to tackle some of the main interpretative debates within the subject area, which encompass a diversity of theoretical perspectives.

  • to highlight the relationship between subsurface archaeology, landscape.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should have:

  • Studied a broad range of issues that relate to the study and interpretation of a variety of medieval settlement forms.

  • Examined how far particular types of buildings, settlements and economy related to differences in landscape type, social structure and organisation.

  • Considered the importance of spatial organisation at all levels from within the buildings to the settlements and their fields.

  • Addressed questions about the impact of feudalism on settlement patterns, theories of 'closure', and the differences within landscape regions, through a variety of archaeological and documentary sources

  • Developed and enhanced transferable skills in small group work and oral presentations

Module content

This module seeks to develop an understanding of the inhabitation of medieval England; the places and spaces in which medieval communities lived, worked, played and worshipped. We will be interested not only in the creation, development, and occasional desertion of settlements, but also in the relationships between people and their environment. How did particular landscapes influence the forms of settlements, such as farmsteads, villages and towns? What impact did they have on the ways in which people could earn their living? What kinds of communities resulted? What was the role of religion and belief, at both an institutional and personal level? How can archaeologists study these subjects, using historical sources, survey and excavation, spatial analysis, and the study of buildings, artefacts, and environmental data?


Task Length % of module mark
Coursework - Medieval Settlement & Communities
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Coursework - Medieval Settlement & Communities
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be available within 6 weeks

Indicative reading

Gilchrist, R. 2012. Medieval Life: Archaeology and the Life Course, Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer.

Lewis, C., Dyer, C., and Mitchell-Fox, P, 2001. Village, Hamlet and Field: Changing Medieval Settlements in Central England, Macclesfield: Windgather Press.

Williamson, T. 2004. Shaping Medieval Landscapes: Settlement, Society, Environment, Macclesfield: Windgather Press.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.