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BA History and American Studies

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Independent Research Project

Unit code HIST20390
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by History
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

This module offers students the opportunity to pursue an individual research project, closely guided by a member of academic staff. Throughout semester one students will gain the skills necessary to develop individual research projects - developing research questions and plans, and identifying and exploring key bodies of literature and collections of primary sources – before producing an extended piece of historical research on a topic of their choosing in semester two. 

 

Pre/co-requisites

HIST20390 Level 2 Independent Research Project - available to History Programmes

 

Available on which programme(s)?

This module is only available to students on History-owned programmes; and joint-honours programmes with the History Department.

Available as Free Choice (UG) or to other programmes (PG)?

No

Available to students on an Erasmus programme

No

Pre/Co/Antirequisite units

None

Medium of language

English

 

 

Aims

Students will build on the skills gained during their first year of study by further developing their skills as an independent researcher. Working within the broad area of expertise of their supervisor, students will explore how fields of study develop, as well as learning to identify key works in the scholarly literature and thus engage with broad intellectual debates. Using this knowledge students will learn how to develop an independent research project that engages with existing debates but employs their own voice and ideas, and draws on a range of research materials. The module will develop skills that are widely applicable to the rest of their degree and beyond, and provide a foundation for the production of a dissertation at level three.  

 

Knowledge and understanding

- Understand and engage with broad intellectual debates 

- Explore and contribute to historiography on a selected topic 

- Engage with a wide range of sources to build informed arguments 

 

Intellectual skills

- Engage with historiographical debates at an advanced level 

- Develop and plan individual research projects 

- Present and defend differing intellectual positions during discussions and supervisions 

 

Practical skills

- Produce sophisticated literature reviews 

- Produce essays that incorporate original research 

- Prepare for and participate in wide-ranging  discussions and debates 

- Work independently  

 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

- Carry out independent research projects 

- Analyse and interpret a range of different sources 

- Communicate sophisticated arguments through improved written and oral communication skills 

 

Employability skills

Other
The course provides a wide range of history-based skills appealing to future employers including: - The ability to formulate and answer cogent and focused questions - The analytical ability to consider complex problems to which there is no single solution - Identifying, gathering, sorting, organising and deploying evidence, data and information. - Analysing texts and other primary sources both critically and empathetically - Marshalling of argument in written and oral forms

Assessment methods

Review exercise 20%
Independent Research Project 80%

 

Feedback methods

Feedback method  

Formative or Summative 

Written feedback on summative coursework via turnitin within 15 working days of submission  

Summative 

Oral feedback on progress, coursework, and  participation given during office hours 

Formative 

 

Recommended reading

Subject specific by tutor.  

However, works of general utility include: 

- Berger, Stefan., Heiko Feldner, Kevin Passmore, Writing History: Theory and Practice 2nd ed (London: Bloomsbury, 2010) 

- Gildea, Robert, Anne Simonin, Writing Contemporary History (London: Hodder Education, 2008) 

- Partner, Nancy, Writing Medieval History (London: Hodder Arnold, 2005) 

- Storey, William Kelleher, Writing History: A Guide for Students 2nd ed (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) 

- Tosh, John, The Pursuit of History: Aims, Methods and New Directions in the Study of History 6th ed (London: Routledge 2015) 

- Walker, Garthine, Writing Early Modern History (London: Hodder Arnold, 2005) 

 

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 200

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Thomas Tunstall Allcock Unit coordinator

Additional notes

A combination of group meetings and individual supervisions throughout the year.

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