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Free online course on the Magna Carta

King John signs Magna Carta

A group of leading scholars will be launching a six week online course, entitled The Magna Carta and its Legacy, to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the medieval document. It begins on Monday, January 12th and runs until February 20th.

This web-based class is being created by Royal Holloway, University of London and Coursera, an education platform that provides free online courses.

Faculty from Royal Holloway’s Department of History will teach the course, including Dr Emm Johnstone, Dr Graham Smith, Professor Justin Champion, Professor Nigel Saul and Professor Jonathan Phillips.  The course will cover how the Magna Carta was established and reinvented over the centuries. The course will also look at the international significance of Magna Carta, including how it influenced the establishment of constitutions and bills of human rights.

Classes will consist of lecture videos that are between five and 12 minutes long with a quiz at the end of each week. There’s also an opportunity to take part in a peer assessed assignment at the end of the course.

Here is the schedule of classes:

Week 1: Magna Carta, Parliament and the Law 1215-1300 (Lecturers: Nigel Saul and Jonathan Phillips)

Week 2: The reinvention of Magna Carta, 1508-1642 (Lecturer: Justin Champion)

Week 3: The Whig Ancient Constitution, 1642-1776 (Lecturer: Justin Champion)

Week 4: Magna Carta and the wider world: constitution making (Lecturer: Emm Johnstone with others)

Week 5: Public history: memorialisation and memorials (Lecturer: Graham Smith and others)

Week 6: Magna Carta: A History of an Argument c.1800-2015 (Lecturer: Graham Smith)

Dr Emm Johnstone explains, “Offering an adult-focused course about Magna Carta has strengthened the university’s connections with a range of scholarly institutions and libraries around the world, as visitors to any Magna Carta exhibition anywhere in the world can turn to the course to further their understanding of why the charter has assumed such global significance.”

“The course also offers school teachers the opportunity to enrich their own subject knowledge in order to support the delivery of new classroom activities, such as those developed by the Houses of Parliament, the English Speaking Union, and the British Council, during the key anniversary year.”

Click here to sign up for the course The Magna Carta and its Legacy

King John signs Magna Carta



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