The Wars of the Roses

Ref: C2337849

Untangle the thorny path of the battles between the Houses of York and Lancaster. Meet Richard of York who gave battle in vain, his sons Edward IV, George drowned in a vat of wine and Richard III as well as the saintly Henry VI. Follow Margaret of Anjou and Margaret Beaufort in their quest for power. Encounter the men, women, turncoats and victims of a family war and begin to investigate the growing importance of legal process, parliament and propaganda in the Plantagenet and Tudor quest to rule the kingdom.

Additional information about this course


Course aim

To explore the Wars of the Roses in history, legend and landscape.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • List the monarchs and some of the key battles of the Wars of the Roses.
  • Outline the main claims made to the throne by the Houses of York and Lancaster and give some of the reasons that invalidated individual claims
  • Explain, with examples, some ways in which individual kings could be described as weak during this period.
  • Describe some of the ways in which the Earl of Warwick was justified in his title 'Kingmaker'.
  • Discuss, with examples, your understanding of the role played by women during the Wars of the Roses.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • A notepad and pen are useful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course outline

The Wars of the Roses Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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