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The Early Modern Period - CED00033M

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  • Department: Centre for Lifelong Learning
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Emma Wells
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Summer Term 2021-22

Module aims

The module will continue and build upon the content and themes introduced in Module 2 in order to analyse the major architectural developments of the early 16th century to the beginning of the 18th century. It will highlight the great transition from medieval architecture to a period of extraordinary enterprise and the rise of the middling sort. As a result, the architecture of England, from Court to farmhouse, was independent of artistic trends on the continent for the first time, thus developing her own indigenous language and style. The impact of the key events of the period, particularly the Reformation, will be a significant focus in order to show how its accommodation resulted in the need for adaptation and evolution in the built environment. The birth of the ‘architect’, the inception of the great ‘Prodigy’ houses, and the impact of the Renaissance will all be covered.

Module learning outcomes

By the conclusion of the module the student should be able to:

  • Read, understand, contextualise and apply both broad and integrated knowledge of early modern built history
  • Identify the relevant historical, political, and cultural context in which the development of early modern architecture took place and its impact
  • Analyse the historical development of a range of historic building types from this era
  • Critically evaluate particular case studies from the period, and of various locations
  • Place individual architects and their patrons within a clear chronology, and assess their impact upon developments in built culture
  • Identify with recent historiography the architecture of the period
  • Possess knowledge of current academic debates and ideas (particularly from a wide range of disciplines)


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

The tutor will give regular individual feedback throughout the module on work submitted.

The assessment feedback is as per the university’s guidelines with regard to timings.

Indicative reading

  • Gaimster, D and Gilchrist, R (eds.), 2003. The Archaeology of Reformation 1480 – 1580, SPMA.
  • Gent, L. (ed.) 1995, Albion’s Classicism: The Visual Arts in Britain 1550 – 1660, Yale.
  • Girouard, M, 2009. Elizabethan Architecture: Its Rise & Fall 1540 – 1640, Yale.
  • Girouard, M, 1985. Robert Smythson & The Elizabethan Country House, Yale,
  • Girouard, M, 1977. Sweetness & Light: The Queen Anne Movement, Oxford.
  • Henderson, P, 2005. The Tudor House and Garden, Yale.
  • Howard, M, 2008. The Building of Elizabethan and Jacobean England (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art) (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art), Yale.
  • Summerson, J, 1993. Architecture In Britain 1530 – 1830, Yale/Pelican.

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.