MA History / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Historical Research 2

Course unit fact file
Unit code HIST64282
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


HIST 64282 is part two of the History research training unit. The course familiarises students with essential skills for developing and designing original historical research. Each seminar will be workshop-based and involve group-based problem-solving exercises that encourage students to design and develop historical research. This course offers students key transferable skills in developing plans and proposals for transforming ideas into completed projects.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Historical Research 1 HIST64181 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


- To introduce post-graduate students to effective models of research design.

- To enable students to develop an independent research proposal in brief and extended form.

- To equip students with the appropriate skills needed to design and complete a substantial piece of   independent research (the History MA dissertation).

Teaching and learning methods

Student-centred workshop. 

This module is supported by the University of Manchester's online learning system, Blackboard. This will be used to provide relevant course materials and any additional online resources. Students' final essay will be submitted online via Turnitin on Blackboard. 

Knowledge and understanding

- Identify different models and components of research design and why they matter.

- Understand the importance of, and techniques for, explaining an idea in accessible and coherent prose, orally and in writing.

- Identify how to transform an independent idea into a manageable project with clear parameters and deadlines.

- Understand pedagogical approaches to undertaking independent research.

- How to formulate and test an hypothesis.

Intellectual skills

- Identify appropriate historical methods, sources and theory in relation to an independent piece of research.

- Analyse and distinguish between distinct theoretical and methodological approaches to the past and apply them to an independent piece of research.

- Develop an independent research question and evaluate its significance to historiography.

- Situate methodology in relation to the development of a research question.


Practical skills

- Identify, discriminate and explain differing modes of analysis in relation to the development of an independent idea.

- How to formulate and communicate an hypothesis.

- Locate, retrieve and assimilate relevant archival resources for completion of a research question.

- Compile systematic bibliographies and to present them according to scholarly conventions.

- Present complex ideas in coherent and accessible form in oral, visual and written format.

- Formulate and design a proposal with appropriate methodology, conceptual underpinning and theoretical framework.

- Manage a sustained program of regular weekly work.

- Present ideas fluently in writing and oral presentation to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

- Gain experience in problem solving, leadership and teamwork.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

- Articulate and develop an hypothesis and a structure for testing it in written and oral form.

- Organise own learning through self-management and work to deadlines.

- Using IT for research and presentation purposes.

- Demonstrate the ability to work in a group and show leadership.

- Identify, analyse and apply a wide range of data to formulate and solve problems.

- Ability to bring analytical and research skills to bear on the formulation and design of proposals.

Employability skills

This module enhances employability skills by calling upon students to work on their own and in groups, to engage with a large number and wide variety of sources, to research, analyse, and present their ideas verbally and in writing, and to take responsibility for aspects of their learning and time management.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 50%
Portfolio 50%

MA Dissertation Research Outline (Summative)

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Written feedback for research outline and portfolio



Recommended reading

Umberto Eco, How to Write a Thesis (Cambridge, Mass., 2015). 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 16.5
Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Christian Goeschel Unit coordinator

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