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HIS2316 : Researching History

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ellie Armon Azoulay
  • Lecturer: Dr Konstantina Maragkou
  • Teaching Assistant: Miss Harriet Palin
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


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 lectures 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.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials81:008:00Guidance 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 teaching102:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study341:0034:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time23:006:00workshops for work-in-progress project facilitations
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

LECTURES 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.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A100Independent research essay of 3000 words (incl. footnotes but not bibliography)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MDetailed outline of research essay--1000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

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. As such, there will be a formative 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.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists