The Crusades - HIST5029

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 30 (15) Barbara Bombi checkmark-circle


The Crusades were a central phenomenon of the High Middle Ages. The product of an aristocratic society suffused by a martial culture and a militant religion, reveal aspects of social relations, popular spirituality, techniques of waging war and attitudes to violence, which retain interest for a modern world to which Holy War and ideological justification of violence are no strangers. The aim of the module is twofold: (i) a full exploration of the events of the campaigns in the Near East, covering the experience as well as the motivations of crusaders and settlers in the Crusader Kingdoms; and (ii) investigation of the interaction over a period of two centuries between western Christians and the indigenous populations, both Christian and Islamic, in and around the states and settlements established in the East. In recent years the Crusades have attracted a wealth of new research and debate, much of it conducted in English. These provide students with rich and accessible secondary material against which to pit their own views. The texts, translated from Arabic and Greek as well as Latin and medieval French, are kept to a manageable size and provide opportunities for critical comparison of different viewpoints on the same events or issues.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 30
Total private study hours: 270
Total module study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Essay (3,000 words) – 17.5%
Source Analysis (2,500 words) – 17.5%
Seminar Presentation (10 mins) – 5%
Examination (2 hrs) – 60%

Reassessment methods
100% Coursework (3,000 words)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Critically evaluate a variety of historical sources, including visual evidence (e.g., castles, churches) and documentary sources (e.g., narrative sources and documents), and to evaluate their relative strengths and limitations, and to interpret these sources verbally and in writing.
2 Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the development of the conquest and the settlement of the Latins in the Holy Land between 11th and 13th century and an understanding of political, social and cultural change within the context of the contemporary East Mediterranean world.
3 Demonstrate a critical awareness of different disciplinary approaches to the theme of war and religion during the central Middle Ages.

The intended generic learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Accurately deploy established methods of historical analysis and enquiry to construct robust historical arguments drawing intelligently on primary and secondary sources, and to present these arguments verbally and in writing.
2 Demonstrate skills of conceptualisation, reflexivity, critical thought and epistemological awareness.
3 Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and systematic understanding of the past and particular aspects of the historiography and methodology.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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