Module Catalogue 2023/24

HIS2316 : Researching History

HIS2316 : Researching History

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Bruce Baker
  • Lecturer: Dr Benjamin Houston, Dr Lauren Darwin, Dr Konstantina Maragkou
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



Researching History will build on the Stage 1 modules Evidence & Argument and Historical Sources & Methods, allowing students to develop and practice their research skills by undertaking an extended independent essay, on a topic of their choosing. Since no two fields of history present precisely the same research challenges, this topic must be distinct from those studied in the Stage 1 modules – that is, dealing with a different country or region in a similar time period, or the same country/region in a different time period (or both) – in order to broaden students’ experience.

The module will also encourage student to think about employment, and give them chance to prepare an appropriate CV and job application responding to a specific advertisement.

Outline Of Syllabus

Skills lecture materials will focus on the research process and constructing arguments bridging primary and secondary research.

Special sessions with the Robinson Library will be geared towards developing information literacy, notably how to search effectively and how to use the databases, special collections, and other repositories (both online and physical) to which the University has access.

The Careers service will offer tailored sessions on transferrable skills and employability for History students.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this modules, students will:

•       understand some of the conceptual and methodological approaches relevant to research in History
•       understand the key themes and research challenges of an additional period/field of History
•       have an in-depth knowledge of that topic, based on primary and secondary material they have gathered and analysed themselves
•       know how to devise a research question and gather primary and secondary material in response to the question

Intended Skill Outcomes

•       planning, researching and developing independent self-directed work
•       gathering, synthesising and critically analysing a body of primary evidence and relevant secondary scholarship
•       structuring, explaining, and supporting an original argument in an extended piece of writing
•       preparation of a CV and job application

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials91:009:00Guidance on skills and assessment prep (as part of student contact time).
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion661:0066:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading661:0066:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching92:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study351:0035:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time23:006:00workshops for work-in-progress project facilitations
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

LECTURE MATERIALS 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.

SEMINARS permit close assistance with individual projects and assessments with peer review, close discussion of similar issues, and modelling.

WORKSHOPS: Workshops will focus on the key practical skills associated with the study of History, including: note-taking, academic reading, summarising, writing bibliographies, essay planning and writing, document analysis.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A75Independent research essay of 3000 words (incl. footnotes but not bibliography)
Written exercise1M25Detailed outline of research essay -- 500 words
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MSource analysis -- 500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative source analysis is intended to ensure that students have gained skills in identifying primary sources for research and executing basis analysis of them. The extended essay will give students the chance to demonstrate the effectiveness of their independent research and their skills in planning and executing a project. As it will be the first time that students bring together their skills of gathering and analysing primary and secondary material in a sustained way, it will be valuable practice for the dissertation, which forms a major part of their final year. To emphasise that producing a research essay is a cumulative, iterative process, there will be a summative outline version which will be assessed mid-semester before the final version is due at the end of the semester. The focus is on uniting different layers of analysis into one essay, so additional assessment would be counterproductive to this end goal of producing a mini-dissertation.

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


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