Living and Dying, Medieval to Renaissance (959Q3B)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

How did people think about living and dying in the premodern past? Which practices were associated with these events? And how were they represented culturally and philosophically?

You examine living and dying in the medieval and early modern periods. We will use diverse sources, such as visual arts, literary texts, architecture and material artefacts. You’ll analyse these from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on fields like History, Art History, Literary Studies and Philosophy.

Topics might include:

  • indigenous and colonial practices
  • Islam
  • memento mori traditions
  • fashion
  • crime and punishment
  • animal life
  • technology
  • witchcraft
  • concepts of ‘the good life’ and ‘good death’.


100%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 278 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.