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The Hundred Years War - HIS00082I

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  • Department: History
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Craig Taylor
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21
    • See module specification for other years: 2019-20

Module summary

The Hundred Years War (1337-1453) was the culmination of centuries of tension and conflict between the kings of England and France. In military terms, the war is often seen as the pinnacle of chivalry, a conflict in which knights on both sides performed valorous deeds to win fame for themselves and their families. Yet the war should also be understood in different terms, as a vicious and brutal struggle fought by rival mercenary captains, driven by a quest for plunder and contemptuous of the interests of the peasants. This module will examine the origins, course and most importantly the impact of the war on English and French society. At the core is the story of both the great military campaigns and the brutal violence of siege warfare and rampaging mercenary bands. We will review the careers of key individuals, from Edward III, the Black Prince and Bertrand Du Guesclin to Philip the Good of Burgundy, Henry V and Joan of Arc. Yet the module will also consider how the conflict shaped the political society and government of England and France, and played a crucial role in the formation of both the nation state and the development of national identity in both countries. We will also examine the cultural impact of the war, from the rich and vivid accounts of chroniclers like Jean Froissart to the more complex reactions to both chivalry and warfare of writers and artists like Geoffrey Chaucer, Christine de Pizan and Jean Fouquet.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To introduce students to important specific historical themes and topics with a clear chronological or geographical focus;

  • To enable them to work on those topics by combining access to the specialised expertise of staff through lectures with their own close study and discussion of issues and reading;

  • To deepen studentsâ understanding and appreciation of a range of historical subjects and issues; and

  • To support studentsâ progression from the broad chronological and conceptual work undertaken at Stage 1 of their programme to more detailed and rigorous study of particular topics.

Module learning outcomes

Students who complete this module successfully will:

  • Have a broad overview of specific historical themes and topics with a clear chronological and geographical focus;

  • Be able to evaluate different interpretations of the subject matter and approaches to it;

  • Gain a critical awareness of the primary material and secondary works used in these interpretations and approaches; and

  • Be able to synthesise information from lectures, discussion groups and reading to make evidence-based arguments both orally and in writing

Module content

This 20-credit module consists of sixteen twice weekly lectures delivered in weeks 2-9 plus one round-up session in week 10, and eight 90 minute discussion groups.

The lecture programme might include the following:

1.The Origins of the War

2.1337-1453: A War of One Hundred Years?


Phase One (1340-1369)

1.The Military Campaigns of Edward III

2.Raising an Army in the Fourteenth Century

3.Negotiating Peace

4.The Collapse of Public Order in France


 Phase Two (1369-1413)

1.Charles V and Bertrand Du Guesclin

2.(Re-)Imagining Chivalry

3.Geoffrey Chaucer and the Peace Movement

4.The French Civil War


 Phase Three (1413-1453)

1.The Military Campaigns of Henry V

2.The Dual Monarchy

3.Raising an Army in the Fifteenth Century

4.Joan of Arc and the French Military Revival

5.The French Reconquest of Normandy and Aquitaine

6.The Legacy of the Hundred Years War


 Seminar discussions will deal with the following:

1.Why did the War Happen?

2.Jean Froissart, Chronicler of Chivalry

3.The Jacquerie and the Peasants' Revolt

4.Civilians and Warfare

5.Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince

6.Prisoners and the Laws of War

7.National Identities

8.Profiting from the War


Task Length % of module mark
2000 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Students will be required to write a 2,000-word procedural essay for formative assessment, due in either week 5 or week 7 of the autumn term. They will then complete a 2,000-word essay for summative assessment, due in week 1 of the spring term.


Task Length % of module mark
2000 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Following their formative assessment task, students will receive written feedback that will include comments and a mark within 10 working days of submission.

Work will be returned to students in their seminars and may be supplemented by the tutor giving some oral feedback to the whole group. All students are encouraged, if they wish, to discuss the feedback on their procedural work during their tutor’s student hours. For more information, see the Statement on Feedback.

For the summative assessment task, students will receive their provisional mark and written feedback within 20 working days of the submission deadline unless submitted in week 5 of the summer term, in which case these are available within 25 working days. The tutor will then be available during student hours for follow-up guidance if required. For more information, see the Statement of Assessment.

Indicative reading

Preliminary reading:

Allmand, Christopher. The Hundred Years War: England and France at War, c.1300-c.1450. Rev. ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Curry, Anne. The Hundred Years War. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Green, David. The Hundred Years War: A Peopleâ History. Yale University Press, 2014.


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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students