History (HIST) 304

Historic Britain: Land, People and Politics from Prehistory to the Augustan Age (Revision 2)

HIST 304 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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HIST 304 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This course provides a broad survey of the development of British society from prehistory to the advent of the Augustan Age. The focus of this course will be on a number of key themes, concepts and events that are pivotal to a full understanding of the British experience during this period. These will include the transformation of the British landscape; the growth of Roman and medieval villages and towns; the effect on early British society of the succeeding waves of settlement; the evolution and development of domestic, religious and military architectural styles; the economic and social devastation caused by the Black Death; the social and religious turmoil that followed the break with Rome; the artistic, cultural and literary outpouring that was the Elizabethan Renaissance; the ongoing efforts of the English Crown to maintain its power and prestige; and the civil wars and republican experiment that resulted from the clash of the royal prerogative and the rule of law in Parliament. Along with these topics, the course units will also explore the experience of a single English village during the period covered in an attempt to examine the daily lives of the ordinary men and women of rural British society, who raised their families, toiled in the fields, and made what they could of their lives in the years before the Industrial Revolution.


  • Unit 1: Prehistoric Britain
  • Unit 2: Celtic Britain
  • Unit 3: Roman Britain
  • Unit 4: The Anglo-Saxon Settlement of England, the Viking Onslaught, and the Danelaw
  • Unit 5: The Norman Conquest and Feudalism
  • Unit 6: England during the High Middle Ages
  • Unit 7: The Black Death, the Peasants’ Revolt, and the Waning of the Middle Ages
  • Unit 8: The Early Tudors: The English Reformation and the Dissolution of the Monasteries
  • Unit 9: The Later Tudors: The Elizabethan Renaissance and the Age of Shakespeare
  • Unit 10: The Early Stuarts: The Royal Prerogative Versus the Rule of Law
  • Unit 11: The English Revolution and the English Republic
  • Unit 12: The Later Stuarts: The Restoration and the “Glorious Revolution”
  • Unit 13: The Advent of the Augustan Age


To receive credit for HIST 304, you must achieve a minimum grade of 50 percent on the final examination and a composite course grade of at least D (50 percent). The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Discussion Forum Questions 10%
Crossword Puzzle Solutions 10%
Assignment 1 20%
Assignment 2 30%
Final Examination 30%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Offline Materials

Primary textbook

Roberts, Clayton, David Roberts, and Douglas R. Bisson. A History of England, Volume I: Prehistory to 1714, 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2009.

Secondary textbooks

Parker, Rowland. The Common Stream: Two Thousand Years of the English Village. St. Albans, UK: Granada Publishing Limited, 1976; reprinted by Athabasca University, 1993.

Pryor, Francis. The Making of the British Landscape: How We Have Transformed the Land, from Prehistory to Today. London: Penguin Books, 2010. (PDF)

Watkin, David. English Architecture: A Concise History, revised edition. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd., 2001. (PDF)

Other Resources

All other materials are available online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HIST 304 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the entire challenge examination.

Activity Weighting
Part I: Exam 50%
Part II: Exam 50%
Total 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, September 11, 2015.

View previous syllabus