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HIS1102 : History Lab I

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Ms Anne Redgate
  • Lecturer: Dr Clare Hickman, Dr Anton Caruana Galizia, Professor Daniel Siemens, Dr Sarah Campbell, Professor Bruce Baker, Dr Philip Garrett, Dr Luc Racaut
  • 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


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: the lecturer will identify and discuss a discrete moment/event/issue, with one lecture discussing its attendant historiography, another lecture featuring 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 three 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.

In some years each or either of the two History Lab modules may concentrate on a particular broad theme, with case studies ordered chronologically throughout the semester. If so, then depending on what case studies are scheduled for inclusion in a given year, the themes may change, in order to maintain a clear and coherent ‘fit’ between topics and overall theme.

Themes may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:

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

Case studies may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:

•       The ‘Martyrs’ of Cordoba, 850-859
•       Art, Architecture, and Identity in the Tenth Century: Aghtamar Church and the Ruined City of Ani
•       The Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536-37
•       The 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland
•       The Russian Revolution, 1917
•       The Jarrow Crusade, 1936
•       Civil Rights demonstrations in Birmingham, AL, 1963
•       The Stolen Generation in Australia
•       Decolonization
•       Post-War Germany

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture301:0030:00Three interactive lectures for each of 10 case studies. All lectures are PiP.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion721:0072:00Some further reading to assist with writing position papers for portfolio. Writing the position papers.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading951:0095:00Directed reading to support lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00Advice about the assessment, in lecture format with a chance to ask questions. Given by Module Leader.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introduction to the module, in lecture format, given by the Module Leader.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

INTERACTIVE LECTURES with Q and A time 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.

MODULE TALK will introduce students to the module.

WORKSHOPS will help to prepare students for their assessments.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1A100Students choose and write 3 x 1000 word position papers. Word limit is 3000 words in total, including footnotes but excluding bibliography.
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 exercise1MStudents pick and write a 1000-word position paper in order to have feedback to help them to choose the papers for the Portfolio. Word limit includes footnotes but excludes bibliography.
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 'practice' position paper of 1000 words each week and to select one to submit for the formative assessment. Feedback will be provided. 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. The formative assessment can be resubmitted as one of the three position papers in the Portfolio which constitutes the summative assessment at the end of the module. The three position papers of the Portfolio are to be chosen from all of the case studies offered over the course of the module.

Position papers are short pieces of academic writing in response to a set question. They requires students to express an opinion and provide evidence as to why they are taking that particular stance. For each weekly case study, students are provided with two position papers which relate to the topic and sources at hand.

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.

Reading Lists