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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

HIST5000M Research Methodology in History

30 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Pete Maw

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module, students should have acquired the requisite skills with which to construct and implement a programme of advanced independent historical research, at doctoral level or equivalent.

This would include:
- Acquisition of advanced bibliographical skills, including the preparation and presentation of research bibliographies and familiarity with the use of manuscript, print catalogues and computer databases of books, articles and theses, archival materials, citation indices etc and WWW materials;
- Ability to identify, justify and comment critically on their research methodologies from both practical and theoretical points of view;
- Ability to prepare a critically informed literature review in a chosen subject area;
- Broad critical awareness of different types of written and non-written historical sources, and their potential uses and limitations;
- Knowledge of advanced critical tools for the interpretation of statistical data, written texts, and non-written sources;
- Experience of preparing a detailed proposal for an advanced research project for a topic of their choice, at doctoral or equivalent professional level;
- Experience of writing and delivering a conference-style research presentation.

Skills outcomes
Will develop the skills listed below:
- High-level skills in oral and written communication of complex ideas.
- Independence of mind and self-discipline and self-direction to work effectively under own initiative.
- Ability to locate, handle and synthesize large amounts of information.
- Ability to employ analytical, problem-solving abilities.
- Ability to engage constructively with the ideas of their peers, tutors and published sources.
- Empathy and active engagement with different cultural contexts.

Will develop the following skills to an advanced level:
- Advanced skills in the location and use of bibliographical and archival research tools;
- Presenting research findings in writing and conference-style oral presentation;
- Ability to act as an autonomous practitioner in researching in the intellectual area of their specialist expertise.


This module is intended to provide students with awareness and experience of the generic research skills needed for advanced research by practising, critically aware historians.

These include bibliographic search skills, writing for research papers and publications, use of written and non-written sources, statistical analysis, and historiographical and methodological awareness.

At the end of the course students will be required to present a conference-style paper and submit a detailed proposal for an advanced research project (whether for doctoral, public or media purposes).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students will be expected to attend fortnightly seminars across semesters 1 and 2. In terms of private study, students will undertake:
- Researching, preparing and writing assignments;
- undertaking set reading; and reading around the topic for fortnightly seminars.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Contributions to class discussions
- Assessed and/or non-assessed written exercises
- Conference presentation

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Presentation1x 20-minute conference-style research presentation, to be delivered revision week of semester 220.00
Literature Review1x 2000-word literature review of dissertation topic due 12 noon Monday of week 10, semester 140.00
Essay1x 2000-word essay on dissertation methodology (incorporating research questions, primary sources, and methodology) due 12 noon Monday of week 8, semester 240.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019


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