#HI-03-02 England in the Time of King Richard III

  • Categories History
  • Duration 18h
  • Total Enrolled 4
  • Last Update September 23, 2020

About Course

University of Leicester


Travel back to the 15th century and explore life during the time of Richard III

The discovery of the skeleton of Richard III in a Leicester car park – and the recent revelations of an infidelity within his family’s bloodline – have made headline news around the world.

Go beyond the headlines with this online course. You’ll learn from scholars at the University of Leicester not only about the discovery of Richard III, but about England during his life time. You’ll examine a different aspect of the 15th century period, including medieval warfare, food and culture, death and commemoration and more. Now’s your chance to travel back in time.

What topics will you cover?

  • Medieval battles and the Wars of the Roses
  • Peasants and farmers
  • Medieval towns, villages and houses
  • Books, literacy and printing
  • Death and commemoration
  • Food and cooking in the 15th century
  • The discovery and reburial of King Richard III

Who will you learn with?

Deirdre O'Sullivan

Senior Lecturer in Archaeology in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester.



Who developed the course?

University of Leicester

The University of Leicester is a leading research led university with a strong tradition of excellence in teaching. It is consistently ranked amongst the top 20 universities in the United Kingdom.



What Will I Learn?

  • Describe the sequence of events and the key players in the Wars of the Roses, and explain the ways in which reputations are created
  • Explain the nature of armed combat in the middle ages
  • Describe the way English farming was organised before the Black Death
  • Identify 15th century changes in the landscape and the benefits to ordinary people of the new developments
  • Explore the evidence for the scale of literacy in England before printed books
  • Describe how typefaces were first created and how rapidly printed books spread, and to whom
  • Summarise medieval beliefs about the afterlife
  • Identify the types of late medieval burial, burial customs, commemoration and memorial monuments
  • Identify what foods were, and were not, available in the 15th century and the differences in the diet of rich and poor
  • Describe the ways in which people cooked and ate at the table
  • Reflect on some of the reasons why the discovery of Richard III has aroused such international interest
  • Interpret the range of evidence that makes the identification of Richard III's body convincing

Topics for this course

16 Lessons18h

Medieval battles and the wars of the roses?

A welcome from the course tutor, overview of the course, and guidance to help you manage your studies.
England in the Time of King Richard III: welcome!00:02:30

The Plantagenets and their supporters in the 15th century?

Profiles of the key players in the Wars of the Roses, and their motivations

The Battles of the Wars of the Roses?

The sequence of battles and changes of fortune of the protagonists is charted in this section, over 32 years.

The nature of armed combat in the 15th century?

How were soldiers equipped in this period, and what were the battles like (and how do we know)?

The Wars of the Roses in popular imagination?

The Wars of the Roses have made an indelible mark on popular culture and imagination, right up to the present day

Test yourself: review of the course?

Assess your knowledge and understanding of this week's topic through a short multiple-choice test

Student Feedback


Total 4 Ratings

3 ratings
1 rating
0 rating
0 rating
0 rating

I really enjoyed taking the course because my favorite part of English history was the Richard III era, and I loved all the books about medieval wars.

It's a great online course. Full of historical knowledge, I like the part about medieval wars and wars of the Roses very much.

Deirdre O 'Sullivan tells it in a very interesting way, exploring life during Richard III's time.

This course explores life during Richard III's time, giving us a deeper understanding of medieval wars and the Wars of the Roses. History is always interesting and exciting.


Material Includes

  • Official Certificate

Target Audience

  • Anyone interested in medieval England or the recent discovery and reburial of Richard III will find something to fuel their interest here. No prior knowledge or expertise are needed.