Approaches to History (HIH1401)

StaffDr Laura Sangha - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module will explore a variety of approaches to history.  It will investigate some of the overarching issues encountered and concepts used by historians. It will also encourage students to make comparisons across time and geography. Lectures will be given by different members of staff each week to demonstrate the variety of approaches to history. Seminars will encourage students to explore these issues in more depth through reading and discussing individual articles and through researching and presenting particular topics to their group.

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. 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

  • 5. Know how to undertake the accurate referencing of sources in written work.
  • 6. Draw thematic comparisons between material from different sources.
  • 7. 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

  • 8. Demonstrate critical skills and communications skills (written and oral).
  • 9. Work both independently and in a group, including the presentation and discussion of material in groups.
  • 10. Digest, select and organize 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 introduce key historical themes and concepts such as power, archives, identities, gender, beliefs and ideas, emotions, the body, micro and macro histories and periodization. Seminars will give the students an opportunity to research and discuss some of these themes in more depth. The seminars also include a book review workshop to prepare students for this part of the assessment.

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 activities.1111 x 1 hour lectures exploring concepts such as archives, gender and power.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities.147 x 2 hour seminars exploring particular articles and concepts in more depth.
Guided independent study125Preparation of work for seminars, presentations, book review and seen exam.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar discussionOngoing through course2-4, 6-10Verbal from tutor and other students.

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 Presentation2020 minutes (for 4 students or c. 5 minutes per student if group size different).1-4, 7-11Verbal and written.
Book Review301000 words1-5, 7-11Written.
Seen Exam501 hour1-4, 6-11Written.

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group PresentationScript as for individual part of presentation, equivalent to 5 minutes.1-4, 7-11Referral/deferral period.
Book ReviewBook Review, 1000 words1-5, 7-11Referral/deferral period.
Seen ExamSeen Exam1-4, 6-11Referral/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

Approaches, Concepts