History Foundation Course (HIH1000)

StaffProfessor Jane Whittle - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

Rather than asking 'What is History' in the abstract, the course will consider what being a historian involves. Students will be introduced to the working practices and interests of the academic staff and will learn what is expected of them in all aspects of their degree work.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Present work in the format expected of historians, with accurate footnoting and bibliographic references
  • 2. Be aware of some of the recurring themes of history such as class, gender, ethnicity, religion and war
  • 3. Recognise the variety of approaches taken to historical study
  • 4. Recognise how quantitative data can be used in historical study
  • 5. Know at a basic level the philosophical problems confronting historians (the difference between history and the past, the difficulties of total objectivity, the value of debate, the uses of history).

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. An understanding of historiography
  • 7. Know how to undertake the accurate referencing of sources in written work
  • 8. Draw thematic comparisons between material from different sources
  • 9. Demonstrate an awareness of contrasting approaches to research, an understanding of the difference between qualitative and quantitative data, and an awareness of some of the basic philosophical questions arising from the study of History.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. Demonstrate critical skills and communications skills (written and oral).
  • 11. Work both independently and in a group, including the presentation and discussion of material in groups
  • 12. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument development through the mode of assessment.

Syllabus plan

Week 1
Lecture (1) - Becoming a historian
Lecture (2) - Library and IT skills for historians
Seminar - Forming a group, planning & organisation
Week 2
Lecture (1) - What is historiography?
Lecture (2) - Starting research
Seminar - Constructing a bibliography
Week 3
Lecture - Identifying debate
Study Group
Week 4
Seminar - Assessing books and articles
Week 5
Workshop 1 - troubleshooting for the group essay
Study Group
Week 6
OPPORTUNITIES WEEK - no lectures or seminars
Week 7
Seminar - Writing and structure
Week 8
Workshop 2 - troubleshooting for the group essay
Study Group
Week 9
Seminar - Presenting work
Week 10
Study Group
Week 11
Seminar - Presentations I
Week 12
Seminar - Presentations II
** TOPIC - Issues in History **
Week 13
Lecture - Archives and the historian
Seminar - Archives
Week 14
Lecture - Time and the historian
Study Group
Week 15
Lecture - Space: local, national and global
Seminar - Local History
Week 16
Lecture - Postmodernism
Study Group
Week 17
Lecture - (Employability and careers talk)
Seminar - Postmodernism
 ** TOPIC - Concepts in History **
Week 18
Lecture - Gender
Study Group
Week 19
Lecture - Money and Wealth
Seminar - Gender
Week 20
Lecture - Power
Study Group
Week 21
Lecture - Class
Seminar - New political history
Week 22
Lecture - Religion
Study Group
Week 23
Lecture - Ethnicity
Seminar - Class
Week 1
Seminar - Concepts: preparing for the exam

This module is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. Lectures will be used to introduce general material, presented both by the core teachers and other staff. Seminars (roughly fortnightly and led by postgraduate tutors) will consider specific issues in detail, linked to written course assignments. In term 1 students will be introduced to the methods used in the study of history, and will apply these through a group project. In term 2 students will be introduced to the ideas and concepts used in the study of history, and will evaluate these through a series of case studies and independent work.

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
Scheduled learning and teaching activities16Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities28Seminars
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2Workshop
Guided independent study254Independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method

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
Group essay253000 wordsmark and written comments
Learning log151000 wordsmark and written comments
Essay251500 wordsmark and written comments
Exam251 hourmark and written comments
Group presentation1025 minutesmark and written comments

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group essayEssayReferral/deferral period
Learning logLearning logReferral/deferral period
EssayEssayReferral/deferral period
ExamExamReferral/deferral period
Group presentationIndividual presentationReferral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Indicative basic reading list:

Peter Claus and John Marriott, History: An Introduction to Theory, Method and Practice (Harlow: Pearson, 2012)

Ulinka Rublack ed., A Concise Companion to History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)

Ludmilla Jordanova, History in Practice (London: Arnold, revised 2nd ed. 2006)

John Tosh, The Pursuit of History (London: Longman, revised 3rd ed., 2002)

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Key words search

History, Foundation