Perspectives on Sources: Independent Study Project in the Humanities (HUC2002)

StaffProfessor Jason Hall - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesNONENo module pre-requisite but students must be resident for both terms in order to take this module. Students on Study Abroad for one term cannot take this module
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module builds on work done in core level 1 modules such as HIC1000 History Foundation and TRU 1101 Foundations although there are no prerequisite modules for it. It is a guided independent study module, which aims to develop students’ skills in independent study, assessing the value and significance of primary sources, critically engaging with secondary literature and scholarly debates, and producing concise and precise written work. The choice of materials for the research need to reflect the disciplinary perspective or perspectives represented by the students’ particular programme of study. The module also prepares students for the final element of independent study at level 3 in the form of the Single and Combined Honours dissertations. Students will have one supervisor who will provide a total of two hours of contact. The summative assessment comprises a project proposal and a source portfolio. The project proposal requires the student to outline the significance of their topic and the importance of the primary and secondary source materials they have chosen to explore it. The source portfolio is a detailed critical analysis of these materials.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Evaluate changes in the secondary literature and to identify significant scholarly debates.
  • 2. Identify and access a range of suitable primary sources.
  • 3. Reflect critically upon the learning experience.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Assess the work of scholars and handle different approaches in areas of controversy.
  • 5. Collate and critique data from a range of sources
  • 6. Understand and deploy scholarly terminology in a comprehensible manner.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Undertake independent study and work
  • 8. Digest, select and organize varied primary and secondary material.
  • 9. Produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument and analysis, developed through the mode of assessment

Syllabus plan

Aside from the one-on-one supervision with the student’s supervisor, the module will also consist of two briefing sessions (one at the end of Term 3 of first year to get students started on the project and one in Term 1 after the submission of the Project Proposal to consider ways forward for the major piece.) In addition, there will be four 1.5 hour hands-on workshops across terms 1 and 2 dealing with different types of published and unpublished primary source material relating to the Humanities led by a member of the Humanities Penryn team dependent on their particular research expertise

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
Primary source workshop6Four sessions of 1.5 hours each where a particular type of source is examined in detail led by a member of academic staff from Humanities Penryn
Briefing seminar2Outline requirements of the module
Supervision2Where supervisors discuss studentsÂ’ project ideas and provide feedback on Project Proposal.

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
Project proposal151,000 words1-2, 7-8Mark, written and verbal comments
Source portfolio856,500 words1-9Mark 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
Project proposalProject proposal 1,000w1-2, 7-8Referral/deferral period
Source portfolioSource portfolio 6,500w1-9Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Students who are referred or deferred will submit the two pieces of summative assessment as specified above.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading: As appropriate to choice of research topic.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web based and electronic resources: As appropriate to choice of research topic

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

History; English; Politics; Geography; Research; Methodology; Primary Sources; Secondary Sources; Debate