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?

This module examines living and dying in the medieval and Renaissance periods.

You will use diverse sources such as visual arts, literary texts, architecture and material artefacts. You will then analyse them from an interdisciplinary perspective and draw on fields such as History, Art History, Literary Studies, Philosophy.

Topics might include:

  • lifecycles
  • health and sickness
  • belief
  • witchcraft
  • iconographies of death
  • crime and punishment
  • concepts of the 'good life' and 'good death'.

Some sources may be looked at in the original languages (e.g., Middle English, Early Modern English) as well as in translation, but previous experience with these is not a requirement of the module.


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 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.