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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

HIST5015M Dissertation (MA)

60 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Shane Doyle

Taught: 1 Oct to 30 Sep (12mth) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Module replaces

This is a replacement of HIST5670M, tHIST5660M, HIST5650M and HIST5640M to combine the dissertation modules of four MA programmes into one. It is also the partial replacement of HIST5000.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Students will write a dissertation of 15,000 words based on a body of primary sources. The dissertation will evaluate relevant secondary literature, display the ability to set out a problem, discuss methodology and construct a clearly-expressed argument. The dissertation will explore some aspect of history relevant to the programme on which the student is registered, and can be written on a topic of the student's choice, subject to the availability of appropriate supervision.


The aim of this module is to allow students to acquire knowledge of appropriate research methods and an in-depth understanding of a specific historical topic related to their programme through the use and analysis of primary and secondary materials, to synthesise the results of such work, and to produce a coherent and extended piece of historical writing.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module, students will have
1. defined a complex problem and a set of research questions.
2. located and handled appropriate primary and secondary source material.
3. interpreted and analysed complex documentary-based material.
4. researched a topic using methods appropriate to the discipline and subject matter.
5. presented findings in an extended piece of written work conforming to academic norms.


Students will receive up to five hours of individual supervision on their project and will attend a number of scheduled research skills workshops during the year. These workshops may include identifying a research topic, bibliographical skills, finding and interpreting sources, a research presentation, writing and editing skills.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours591.00
Total Contact hours9.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)600.00

Private study

Bibliographical research, reading and analysing primary and secondary source materials (262 hours), preparing for skills workshops (8 hours), preparing a research proposal both for formal submission and for workshops (59 hours), preparing and writing up findings in the dissertation (262 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Supervision sessions; feedback on the research proposal and on a chapter plan; feedback on up to 15% of the draft dissertation

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation15000 word dissertation90.00
Research Proposal1500 words10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/06/2021 15:57:33


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