Making History (HIH1400)

StaffDr Laura Sangha - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module will provide those of you who take History as a principal part of your degree programme with some of the essential tools for studying the past. The module has two parts, each of which has a distinct aim:

1) Part one will introduce you to the essential practical tools that every historian requires. Lectures will introduce the idea of historiography, before exploring and explaining a range of research, writing and referencing skills. In seminars you will apply this knowledge; for example by constructing bibliographies, or assessing and taking notes on books and articles.

2) Part two will introduce you to the essential intellectual tools that every historian needs to be aware of. Lectures will provide an introduction to key types of history (political, social, cultural, postmodern, global and digital). Seminars will be based around the discussion of ‘case studies’ of each type of history.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Present work in the format expected of historians, with accurate footnoting and bibliographic references.
  • 2. Recognise the variety of approaches taken to historical study.
  • 3. Recognise how quantitative data can be used in historical study.
  • 4. Know at a basic level some of the philosophical problems confronting historians i.e. the difficulties of total objectivity, the value of debate.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Develop knowledge of the use of a library to find information.
  • 6. Comprehend how to undertake the accurate referencing of sources in written work.
  • 7. Draw thematic comparisons between material from different sources.
  • 8. Be aware of approaches to research, including the difference between qualitative and quantitative data.

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

Syllabus plan

The module includes 11 weekly lectures and 7 tutor led seminars.

Lectures will cover such topics as: (for skills) historiography; finding books, journals and online materials; critical reading skills, writing history; (for historiography) political, social, cultural, postmodern, global and digital history.

Seminars will be focused on developing particular skills such as: referencing, formatting and constructing bibliographies, critical reading and writing skills; as well as introducing key themes: historiography, political, social, cultural and postmodern history.

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 Activities1111 x 1 hour lectures providing an introduction to historical research, the use of the library, the idea of historiography, and research skills.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities147 x 2 hour seminars will ask students to apply their skills, and will also introduce students to key 'types' of history via a series of case studies.
Guided independent study125Preparation for seminars

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar discussionOngoing through course2-5Verbal from tutor and fellow students.
Bibliography2 pages1, 5, 6, 11Verbal and written.
Reading summaries2 x 1 paragraph2-4, 7-11Verbal in seminar.

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
Skills Learning Log401000 words1, 5, 6, 8-11Verbal and written
Historiographical Essay601500 words1-11Verbal and written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Skills Learning LogSkills Learning Log, 1000 words1, 5, 6, 8-11Referral/deferral period.
Historiographical EssayHistoriographical Essay, 1500 words1-11Referral/deferral period.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

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

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

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

Tosh, John, The Pursuit of History: Aims, Methods and New Directions of Modern History (Harlow: Pearson Education, 2006).

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Key words search

Historiography, Approaches, Concepts