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Unit description

Introduces students to the criminalisation and prosecution of witchcraft in England during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and early eighteenth centuries. It will focus on the social background to such allegations, the black letter law governing the crimes, and the pre-trial and trial process by which such cases were determined.

Unit content

Topic 1: Introduction and the Medieval Legacy

Topic 2: Candidates for Witch-hood

Topic 3: A Witch’s Career

Topic 4: Living with the Witch

Topic 5: The Witchcraft Statutes

Topic 6: Specialist Tests for Establishing Witchcraft

Topic 7: Entering the Criminal Justice System

Topic 8: The Witch Trial

Topic 9: Late Jacobean and Caroline Witchcraft Prosecutions

Topic 10: The Civil War and Interregnum

Topic 11: From Restoration to Abolition

Topic 12: General Themes

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to:GA1GA2GA3GA4GA5GA6GA7
1describe the social environment in which witchcraft allegations arose, and why only a small minority of those suspected of such activity were formally prosecutedKnowledge of a discipline
2explain the black letter law established by the three major statutes governing the crime of witchcraftCultural competence
3outline the unusual evidential challenges posed by witch trials and investigations, and the unique responses that developed to meet themKnowledge of a disciplineCultural competence
4identify continuing themes between early-modern witch trials and present-day criminal hearingsIntellectual rigour
5demonstrate their skills in legal history research, critical analysis and the written presentation of research and argumentIntellectual rigour
6demonstrate knowledge of the history of witchcraft as a felony in England and WalesKnowledge of a discipline

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. describe the social environment in which witchcraft allegations arose, and why only a small minority of those suspected of such activity were formally prosecuted
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  2. explain the black letter law established by the three major statutes governing the crime of witchcraft
    • GA7: Cultural competence
  3. outline the unusual evidential challenges posed by witch trials and investigations, and the unique responses that developed to meet them
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA7: Cultural competence
  4. identify continuing themes between early-modern witch trials and present-day criminal hearings
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
  5. demonstrate their skills in legal history research, critical analysis and the written presentation of research and argument
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
  6. demonstrate knowledge of the history of witchcraft as a felony in England and Wales
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline

Prescribed texts

  • Prescribed text information is not currently available.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Notice

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information

Domestic

Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.

Fee paying courses
For postgraduate or undergraduate full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees

International

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