History of Great Britain and Ireland to 1600

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HIS 221

       Course Name: History of Great Britain and Ireland to 1600

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course examines the political, economic, social and cultural history of Great Britain and Ireland from the Paleolithic era through the end of the Tudor dynasty.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the major eras covered
  2. Describe Britain and Ireland’s achievements in political, cultural, and social terms
  3. Compare representative works of literature and philosophy produced within this period
  4. Critique the values expressed in the religious, philosophical, and literary texts of this period, and discuss the current relevance of these values
  5. Explain the ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity of Britain and Ireland and the origins of political, cultural, and ethnic conflict
  6. Apply conflicting interpretations of British and Irish history
  7. Analyze primary and secondary sources of the British and Irish past

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Age Britain and Ireland
  2. Reevaluating the Celtic mass migration theory
  3. Roman Britain
  4. Early Christianity in Britain and Ireland
  5. Anglo-Saxon invasion and influence in Britain
  6. Viking Britain and Ireland
  7. The Norman Conquest of Britain
  8. Feudalism and Manorialism in Britain and Norman Ireland
  9. The origins of English imperialism in Ireland
  10. The English conquest of Wales
  11. The Scottish dynastic movement of the 13th and 14th centuries
  12. “The Calamitous Fourteenth Century”
  13. Late Medieval Britain and Ireland
  14. The Tudor Dynasty of England
  15. The English Reformation
  16. The Reigns of Mary Stewart and Elizabeth I

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods of instruction include lecture, discussion, and panel presentations.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:

  1. Read a standard textbook and research materials.
  2. Write outside of class the equivalent of 13-15 double-spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of Journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
  3. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Texts will be selected from established texts, such as:

Morgan, Kenneth O., ed. The Oxford History of Britain
Cunliffe, Barry, ed. The Penguin Illustrated History of Britain and Ireland
Foster, R.F., ed. The Oxford History of Ireland
Moody, T.W. The Course of Irish History
Mackie, J.D. A History of Scotland
Cronin, Mike. A History of Ireland

Supplementary readings will also be assigned as appropriate.  Currently being used are:

James, Simon. The Atlantic Celts: Ancient People or Modern Invention?
McCaffrey, Carmel. In Search of Ancient Ireland
St. Patrick. The Confession of St. Patrick
Graham, Roderick. The Life of Mary, Queen of Scots: An Accidental Tragedy
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales
Táin bo Cualigne
The Mabingion

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least three exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments. At least fifty percent of all examinations will require students to respond in a written essay format. Students will also be evaluated on a combination of written assignments and in-and out-of-class assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information

Support Services: Tutoring is available at the Learning Center.

Important Dates: *

XX/XX: Last day to withdraw and have course dropped from record
XX/XX: Last day to change to Audit
XX/XX: Last day for students to submit materials to make up incomplete from the previous semester
XX/XX: Last day to withdraw from classes with a "W"

*These dates differ for each semester. You'll find the correct dates on the Academic Calendar.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.