Public History Project (HIC2200)

StaffDr Bryony Onciul - Lecturer
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesHIC1200, Public History 1
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The Public History Research Project builds on the theory and practical experience gained in the level 1 Public History module. It is an optional module in which students have the opportunity to work with sponsors from the museum and heritage sectors on commissioned research projects that develop both archival research capabilities and presentation skills for the public sphere.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Write a project brief
  • 2. Apply the principles of object-led interpretation
  • 3. Identify copyright and/or ethical issues
  • 4. Create visual and written presentations for diverse audiences
  • 5. Critically evaluate the practice of public history

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. Competent use of archives, libraries and electronic databases
  • 7. Capacity to analyse historical evidence
  • 8. Palaeography

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. Self-discipline and time management
  • 10. Effective oral and written communication
  • 11. The capacity to exercise initiative and demonstrate flexibility
  • 12. Ability to work collaboratively

Syllabus plan

The module will consist of university-based two-hour seminars every fortnight (sometimes presented on a team tutorial basis), with required reading and/or preparation, and regular meetings with the public history sponsors to assess progress and adapt projects as required.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Seminars and tutorials20A combination of tutorials, lectures and seminars to support the research project
Independent Study180Readings on theoretical perspectives in public history and support for project placement
Project Placement 100Conduct a specific research project with an agreed sponsor

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Project Brief 800 words 1, 2, 3,6,12Oral, written
Seminar Presentation 15 minutes1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,12Oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Public Seminar Presentation3020 minutes (with 10 minutes questions)1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,12Written, oral
Critical Essay 703,000 words5,6,7,10,11Written, oral

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Seminar Presentation Essay of 1,500 words1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9, 12referral/deferral period
Critical EssayCritical Essay of 3,000 words5,6,7,10,11referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Ashton, Paul and Hilda Kean, eds, People and their Pasts (Palgrave, 2009). Black, Graham, The Engaging Museum (Routledge, 2005) Cohen, Daniel J. and Roy Rosenzweig, Digital History: a guide to gathering, preserving, and presenting the past on the Web (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006) Corsane, Gerard, ed., Heritage, Museums and Galleries (Routledge, 2005) Dobson, Miriam and Benjamin Ziemann, eds, Reading primary sources: the interpretation of texts from nineteenth- and twentieth-century history (London, 2008). Dudley, Susan, ed. Museum Materialities (Routledge, 2009) Hooper-Greenhill, E. Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture (Routledge, 2000) Knell, Simon J., Museums in the Material World (Routledge, 2007) Lord, Barry and Gail Dexter Lord, The Manual of Museum Exhibitions (Altamira, 2002) Pearce, Susan M. ed., Interpreting Objects and Collections (Routledge, 1994). Woodward, Ian, Understanding Material Culture (Sage, 2007) Yow, Valerie, Recording Oral History: A Guide for the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2nd ed (Altamira Press, 2005).

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Cornwall Record Office, Bartlett Library, Courtney Library, Cornish Studies Library, National Maritime Museum Library, Cornwall Family History Society, Cornish Audio Visual Archive

Available as distance learning?


Last revision date


Key words search

Public History, Research