General Third-Year Dissertation (HIH3005)

StaffDr Alex Fairfax-Cholmeley - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesHIH2001 Doing History: Perspectives on Sources
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The History Dissertation module asks you to identify an interesting and original research question on a specific topic; to engage with the historiography and scholarship relating to that topic; to locate and analyse appropriate primary sources; and to construct a coherent, extended argument based on this material. It is the culmination of the History degree and allows you to put into practice all the skills that you have learnt and developed at levels 1 and 2. You should emerge from the module with an in-depth knowledge of your chosen area and the ability to interpret primary and secondary source material at quite a sophisticated level. It will also allow you to develop and demonstrate transferable skills including: the collection and analysis of a wide range and/or amount of data; the ability to work independently; and the ability to plan and pursue an extended research project.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Develop and complete an independent research project.
  • 2. Identify, locate and interpret appropriate primary sources.
  • 3. Identify, locate and critically assess secondary literature.
  • 4. Evaluate the reasons for changes in historiography.
  • 5. Produce an extended piece of written work that pursues a clear and coherent argument.
  • 6. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of your chosen research area.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 7. Collate and critique data from a range of sources, both primary and secondary.
  • 8. Critically assess the work of scholars and engage with historical debate.
  • 9. Deploy historical terminology correctly.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. Plan and pursue a research project over a long time-period.
  • 11. Work independently.
  • 12. Manage your time effectively.
  • 13. Collect and analyse large amounts of data.
  • 14. Complete an extended piece of written work for a specific deadline and within a specified word-limit.

Syllabus plan

During the latter half of the academic year prior to their final year, students will be asked to identify, from a list of broad possibilities, an area which they might wish to study, and will then discuss its viability with the relevant member of staff. Once a subject has been agreed, students will set to work to produce a piece of work which makes significant use of primary sources. They will then research and write up their dissertation, with supervision on an individual basis. They will submit a detailed research plan at the start of the first term of their final year, which will provide an outline of their main research question, the historiographical context of the project, and the proposed source base and methodology. In terms of supervision, students will be entitled to a maximum of 1 hour to set up the dissertation subject, plus a further 3 hours maximum of consultation with the relevant tutor. It is envisaged that the bulk of students' time will be spent on private study, at the rate of 10 hours per week. Supervisors will be allowed to see and comment on either a detailed plan of the whole work or a draft version of up to 25 per cent of the whole (usually one chapter).

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 teaching22 x 1hr lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching1Initial consultation with supervisor to set up dissertation
Scheduled learning and teaching3Maximum individual consultation time with supervisor
Guided independent study294Private study at the rate of 10 hours per week

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Detailed Research Plan (submitted via BART). Failure to submit the Detailed Research Plan in time will result in the deduction of 5 marks from the Dissertation mark.1500 words1-4, 10, 11Written and oral comments

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
Dissertation1009,000 words1-14Mark 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
DissertationDissertation 1-14Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

As appropriate to the topic chosen.

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Key words search

History, Dissertation