Dissertation in History (HISM403)

StaffDr Tawny Paul - Convenor
Credit Value90
ECTS Value45.00
NQF Level7
Pre-requisitesHISM016 Advanced Historical Research Skills
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks; Term 3: 11 weeks;

Module aims

To pursue an individual programme of research applying appropriate principles and methodologies to a research topic approved by the programme director and their individual supervisor. To complete a detailed historiographical survey of the literature and debates pertinent to the selected dissertation topic.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. To identify a suitable topic of historical research, to produce a plan for its execution
  • 2. To complete an extended review of the secondary sources and key debates surrounding both the subject-matter of the dissertation and the specialist field to which it relates
  • 3. To identify and collate information from primary and secondary sources related to the topic of research
  • 4. To apply appropriate historical methodologies
  • 5. To draw conclusions based on the analysis of sources gathered.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. Ability to assimilate and critically analyse primary and published sources
  • 7. Presentation of a clearly structured, logically argued and well written dissertation with a full scholarly apparatus.
  • 8. Completion of a detailed historiographical survey investigating relevant literature and analysing the key debates within the specialist field
  • 9. Application of key bibliographical and archival skills (including the use of on-line aids).

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. Demonstrate the capacity to research a topic independently
  • 11. Show the ability to condense large quantities and diverse types of information into coherent argument.

Syllabus plan

Second term: Seminars on the Core Module, Advanced Historical Research Skills, introduce students to the requirements and scope of the dissertation, and include one session devoted to consideration of an outline proposal. Spring and Summer Terms: Allocated dissertation supervisors provide an individual tutorial giving specific advice on a research topic; minimum four further tutorials are offered giving specific advice on the research topic and the writing up of the dissertation.

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 Activities6supervision sessions
Guided independent study894Private study

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
Dissertation 10025,000 words1-11Prior to submission, students are entitled to nine hours of supervision from their supervisor, and may ask their supervisor to read draft work to a maximum of 25% of the dissertation word limit. After submission of the dissertation, students will be able to collect a marked copy of the dissertation, with comments from the first marker.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

The reading list will depend on the topic chosen for the particular dissertation.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

The 25,000 word dissertation, is predicated on independent research agreed between student and supervisor. While somewhat dependent on research topic, this is likely to require extensive use of web-based archival and library materials as well as consultation of electronic journals, JSTOR, etc, available online. Other resources: Advanced Historical Research Skills module materials; online archival resources, document collections and Library collections of archival materials and published documents.

Available as distance learning?