Course overview

The early modern history course covers a period of over 200 years, from the 15th century to the late 17th century. It contains a fascinating blend of political, religious and social history and includes the turbulence of civil war in Britain, Spain’s emergence as a great power and the craze for witch hunting which lasted for most of the early modern period.

What will I study?

The early modern history course is divided into four units. Unit 1 covers the turbulent 17th century from 1603 to 1660 where the growing tension between Crown and Parliament led to the English Civil War and the trial and execution of Charles I. This unit also looks at the period of the Interregnum from 1649-1660 when England was ruled without a king.

Unit 2 delves into Spanish History from 1469 to 1556 a period which saw the emergence of Spain as a super power, building up an empire that extended beyond Europe to the Americas and the East. Students will encounter explorers like Christopher Columbus and powerful monarchs such as Isabella of Castile and the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. Unit 3 explores popular culture in the 16th and 17th Centuries. This in depth study examines the phenomenon of the witch craze, which extended across Europe and North America across the Early Modern period. We explore the pattern of witch hunting, the reasons why this occurred and the methods employed to identify and investigate ‘witches’. We examine three detailed case studies; the 1645-7 witch hunts in Essex, witch hunting in Germany and the Salem witch hunt. Finally, unit 4 is an independent research essay from a selection of titles offered to you.

Trips, visits and enrichments

  • Students attend lectures by academic historians
  • Students have visited Madrid, Boston and Salem in past years

What can it lead to?

 History is a highly regarded course by universities and is a recognised route into a wide range of careers, notably journalism, the law, business and the Civil Service. Former King Edward’s historians have gone on to careers in academia, the law, politics and the media.

Special entry requirements

GCSE grade 5 in either English language, English literature or history.

History early modern has been added to My Courses


Next event:

Year 12 consultation evening (o-z) 5.30-8.30 5:30pm on 22nd January 2018

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