Module Catalogue 2023/24

HIS1102 : History Lab I

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Fergus Campbell
  • Lecturer: Dr Alison Atkinson-Phillips, Dr Felix Schulz, Professor Daniel Siemens, Dr Samiksha Sehrawat
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



History Lab I (and its semester two counterpart, History Lab II) is a historical survey taught through case studies. The goal is to teach – and learn – through meaningful microcosm, rather than attempt a whistle-stop tour of everything.

Across the two modules, each member of staff will give three interconnected lectures on a specific case-study from their field: one lecture about a discrete moment/event/issue and its attendant historiography, a second lecture that features primary sources on the same, and a third lecture that features public or private representations of that event as a basis for methodological issues. The integration of these differing dimensions will showcase how historians think and work by highlighting examples of differing historical interpretations and ongoing negotiations with the past.

A key aim of the module is to support students in developing strategies for independent learning: specifically, how to get up to speed with unfamiliar topics quickly. The formative assessments will be geared towards a) summarizing the argument and methodology outlined in the lectures, and b) contextualising the events or people of the case studies in time and space.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered will vary from year-to-year, but most members of History staff will contribute a block of five lectures every year, giving students chance to explore a wide range of different periods, places, and approaches. They will thus be encouraged to draw parallels and see interconnections cross-culturally and cross-culturally, in order to move away from thinking of history in narrowly national or regional terms, a practice which tends to prioritise western histories and/or the Global North.

Each of the two History Lab modules will concentrate on a particular broad theme, with case studies ordered chronologically throughout the semester. Depending on what case studies are scheduled for inclusion in a given year, the themes may therefore change, in order to maintain a clear and coherent ‘fit’ between topics and overall theme.

Themes may include:

•       conflict
•       cities
•       social change
•       radical ideas
•       memory
•       labour
•       health

Case studies may include:

•       Th 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland
•       The Stolen Generation in Australia
•       Decolonization
•       Post-War Germany

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this module, students should:

•       understand how and why historical interpretation varies and changes, with reference to specific case studies;
•       be able to explain the factors that affect how and why present societies engage with the past, with reference to specific case studies;
•       be familiar with the details of key episodes in the histories of multiple periods and places;
•       have a broad general grasp of historical chronology and global geography.

Intended Skill Outcomes

The two History Lab modules will complement the other Stage 1 History offerings, in giving students the chance to develop and practice the following skills:

•       critical analysis of primary sources, secondary scholarship, and popular media;
•       information gathering, including the ability to quickly gather, assimilate and re-present knowledge about new and unfamiliar topics and ideas;
•       adaptability to unfamiliar approaches to the discipline

In addition, the assessment for History Lab I and II will put particular emphasis on:

•       regular practice at clear and succinct written communication, including note-taking and critical analysis;
•       group work

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture281:0028:00All lectures are PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture51:005:00Live PiP Q and A Session each week
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion671:0067:00Writing position papers for portfolio
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1001:00100:00Directed reading to support lectures
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

LECTURES will enable students to gain a wider sense of historical argument and debate and how such debates operate, which also allows them to develop comparisons between different historiographical debates.

Q and A sessions will enable students to ask the lecturers questions about their lectures in a live PiP setting - chaired by the ML - and this will take the form of a kind of lecture with a strongly interactive dimension with the students.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1A100Students to choose 3 x 1000 word position papers 3000 words in total, incl. footnotes but excluding bibliography
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MStudents pick and prepare a 1000-word position paper in order to have feedback in order to choose the selection of papers.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

As formative assessment, students are encouraged to write a position paper of 1000 words each week and to select one to submit for the formative assessment. At the end of the semester, students will need to choose 3 out of the papers to submit as their summative assessment, having had the chance to revise them based on their participation in the Q and A/interactive lecture discussion which will also allow the imparting of feedback on the formative assessment.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. Where an exam is present, an alternative form of assessment will be set and where coursework is present, an alternative deadline will be set. Details of the alternative assessment will be provided by the module leader.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.