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RS904-30 Renaissance Culture & Society

Centre for the Study of the Renaissance
Taught Postgraduate Level
Module leader
Credit value
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

RS904-30 Renaissance Culture & Society

Module web page

Module aims

The core module provides students with an overview of selected methodological and topical issues important for studying the Renaissance; makes students familiar with a number of different disciplinary approaches to the period (e.g., literature, history, history of art); gives students the opportunity to sample the broad expertise of members active in the Centre; prepares students, if they wish, to go on to further study; encourages students to become effective at sharing and communicating knowledge

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

A representative outline of the topics/themes covered in the module:

I. Political and Religious Culture
'Renaissance Political Thought in Fifteenth-Century Italy: Mirrors for Princes'
'Political and Religious Culture: the Ideologies of the First Anglo-Dutch War'

II. Learning, Literature and the Book Trade
Scholars and Printers
Centres of Printing and the Book Trade (student presentations)

III. Latin and Vernacular Literature and Drama
'The Reception of Ovid's Metamorphoses'
'Conceptions of Comedy in the European Renaissance'

IV. Intellectual Culture
'Italian Humanism and Scholasticism'
'Erasmus of Rotterdam and the Idea of the Scholar'

V. Round Table Discussion on Renaissance Studies and Interdisciplinarity

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • An understanding of some important methodological and thematic issues in Renaissance Studies
  • An appreciation of the texture and complexity of the period
  • An understanding of some foundational assumptions and techniques implicit in different approaches to the period
  • An ability to evaluate secondary sources critically; wherever possible, a direct engagement with primary sources; the ability to write effectively and critically about both primary and secondary sources
Research element

Research leading to writing of an essay.


The module develops awareness and skills in literature, language(s), history, art history, and other disciplines such as science and philosophy.


The module compares the development of the Renaissance in various areas across Europe and the wider world.

Subject specific skills

This module will develop students' awareness of the landscape of Renaissance Studies, including different approaches and methodologies. It will build students' capacity to engage with aspects of Renaissance culture through analysis of primary and secondary materials and enhance their familiarity with a variety of perspectives from fields such as literature, history, and art history.

Transferable skills

All modules taught in the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance require analytical engagement with historical and/or cultural sources and the context(s) in which they arose. Through class work and independent study, students will develop skills in written and oral communication, creative and critical thinking, problem solving and analysis, time management and organization, independent research, intercultural understanding, personal responsibility, and the exercise of initiative.

Study time

Type Required
Seminars 9 sessions of 2 hours (100%)
Total 18 hours
Private study description

Private study including reading of relevant texts and use of Library resources


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group A3
Weighting Study time
5000 word essay 100%

The module essay, along with its feedback, will equip you to write and research your dissertation

Feedback on assessment

Feedback (both formal and informal) will be provided in the course of the module in a number of ways.
Oral feedback will be provided by the module tutor in the course of seminar discussion. This may include feedback on points raised in small-group work or in the course of individual presentations or larger-group discussion .
Written feedback will be provided on formal assessment using the standard CSR feedback form and will reflect the appropriate CSR marking scheme.

Post-requisite modules

If you pass this module, you can take:

  • RS903-60 Dissertation in Renaissance Studies


This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of TRSA-V1PF Postgraduate Taught Culture of the European Renaissance

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 1 of TRSA-V1PF Postgraduate Taught Culture of the European Renaissance