BA Ancient History and History

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
History in Practice

Course unit fact file
Unit code HIST10101
Credit rating 20
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:

  1. To get students to think about history as an academic discipline, and provide them with opportunities to explore different varieties of history.
  2. To help students, during their first semester at university, manage the leap between college-level work and university-level work.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


Teaching and learning methods

9 hours of online lectures (of different individual lengths)  

1 x 2 hour seminar and 1 x course unit office hour per week  


1 x 2 hour in-person lecture (careers plenary) in 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

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • 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.

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

Discriminate between highly relevant and highly valuable challenging reading, and peripheral or less rigorous styles of writing;

Organisation of ideas in writing.


Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

Mastering the presentation and formatting of written work;

Practising note-taking without electronic devices. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will be able to:

demonstrate key transferable skills relating to independent research;

identify, analyse and contrast academic arguments;

plan, present and properly format university-level, written work


Employability 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. - 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.

Assessment methods

Seminar Exercises (Formative)

Critical Analysis Exercise (Summative) 40%

Essay (Summative) 60%

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Written feedback on all assessments


Oral feedback in seminar discussions


Additional oral feedback by request during office hours



Recommended reading

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).

Jordanova, Ludmilla, History in Practice (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2006) (2nd edition).

Tosh, John & Lang, Sean, The Pursuit of History: Aims, Methods, and New Directions in the Study of Modern History (Harlow: Routledge, 2006) (4th edition).


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ingrid Rembold Unit coordinator

Additional notes



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