BA Politics and Modern History / Course details
Year of entry: 2020
Course unit details:
History in Practice
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
The main objective of History in Practice is to help support students in their transition to university and provide them with the key study skills they will need to flourish in their academic studies. The course is taught through a series of weekly lectures and weekly, two-hour seminars. Seminars are an integral part of the course programme. They are designed as a form of enquiry-based learning, serving as an opportunity for students to discuss ideas, apply and enhance their knowledge, and develop key skills. Students will work with a member of academic staff studying their specialism with them, and so see how historical knowledge and scholarly practice work side by side.
This module is only available to students on History-owned programmes; and joint-honours programmes with the History Department. Not available to students on an Erasmus programme.
The aims of this course are:
- To get students to think about history as an academic discipline, and provide them with opportunities to explore different varieties of history.
- To help students, during their first semester at university, manage the leap between college-level work and university-level work.
- To help students acquire some of the key study skills they will need to succeed at university, including identifying appropriate scholarship, critically reading academic texts, and applying the fundamental parts of scholarly apparatus.
- To help students think critically about the key transferable skills – including intellectual skills, communication skills, planning/organisational skills, and teamwork skills – they will be developing through your degree.
By the end of this course students will be able to:
Indicative Course Structure:
Lecture 1: Moving to University Level Work
Lecture 2: Understanding Historical Sources
Lecture 3: Referencing – Why Bother?
Lecture 4: Understanding How Assessment Works
Lecture 5: Assessment and Resilience
Lecture 6: Planning an Essay 1: Developing a Problematic
Lecture 7: Planning an Essay 2: Maintaining an Argument
Lecture 8: Understanding Key Skills
Lecture 9: Developing a Presentation
Lecture 10: History and Your Future
Lecture 11: History in Practice Revisited
Teaching and learning methods
1 x 0.5 hour online lecture, 1 x 2 hour seminar and 1 x course unit office hour per week
1 x 1 hour face-to-face lecture per fortnight
1 x 2 hour workshop and 2 x 1 hour workshops across Semester 2.
Access to on-line material
The course will provide materials at least to minimum Blackboard standards. All the support materials for this course will be made available on Blackboard which are not otherwise available in electronic form through JRUL resources.
Knowledge and understanding
- Compile and present a bibliography;
- Identify, analyse and contrast academic arguments;
- Compose introductions to essays, and identify a clear problematic;
- Plan university-level essays;
- Organise conclusions to essays.
- Discrimination between highly relevant and highly valuable challenging reading, and peripheral or less rigorous styles of writing;
- Organisation of ideas in writing.
- Mastering the presentation and formatting of written work;
- Practising note-taking without electronic devices.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- demonstrate key transferable skills relating to independent research;
- identify, analyse and contrast academic arguments;
- plan, present and properly format university-level, written work
- Analytical skills
- By engaging with the lectures, participating fully in the seminar discussions, and completing all of the assessment, students will, by the end of this module, be able to understand key transferable/employability skills relevant to their degree programme e.g. intellectual skills, communication skills, and organisational skills.
- Oral communication
- Written communication
- The written coursework will help students develop their abilities to undertake independent research using a wide variety of sources of information, and enable them to develop their analytical abilities and their writing skills.
Formative or Summative
Weighting within unit (if summative)
Critical Analysis Exercise
Exam (topics to be determined by Course United Director)
1 question in 1 hour
Written feedback on all assessments - summative
Oral feedback in seminar discussions - formative
Additional oral feedback by request during office hours - formative
History in Practice will introduce you to some of the issues connected with the nature of historical research and historical knowledge. These are topics that you will investigate in more detail as you proceed through your degree. If you are interested in starting to think about some of the practical issues of historical method, the following books are worth having a look at:
Dobson, Miriam & Ziemann, Benjamin (eds.) Reading Primary Sources: The Interpretation of Texts from Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century History (London: Routledge, 2009).
Felder, Heiko, Passmore, Kevin & Berger, Stefan (eds.) Writing History: Theory & Practice (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2003).
Tosh, John & Lang, Sean, The Pursuit of History: Aims, Methods, and New Directions in the Study of Modern History (Harlow: Routledge, 2006) (4th edition).
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|John Morgan||Unit coordinator|