Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Making History
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 2 Hour Lectures
Seminar 5 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

demonstrate an understanding of how and why History became a modern academic discipline and identify the main features of professional historiography.

demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between academic history and other ways of interpreting and using the past.

reflect in a broader context on historical writings utilized for other modules in the degree scheme.

demonstrate a familiarity with major trends in the study of history over time and the influences of specific historians and schools of history.

display an ability to reflect critically on a range of evidence and use this to produce an effective argument.

Brief description

The discipline of history has been subject to a constant ebb and flow, with various ideologies, approaches and methodologies developing amongst researchers and authors. Within this module, the aim is to examine such changes and developments within the discipline through considering a number of specific examples. Various schools of history which became influential at different times will be considered, along with the impact of some seminal texts which have changed how historians have approached particular subjects.


1. Provide all single honours students with a core module which will make them reflect on the way history is researched and produced.
2. Supply students with an awareness of the broader context of the discipline which they are studying.
3. Encourage students to apply the awareness gained in this module to inform the rest of their studies in history.



Historical Paradigms

1. Intellectual movements and the statist paradigm
2. The Annales 'school' of historians
3. Writing Welsh History in the 2oth century
4. Namier and Namierism
5. Marx and the Marxist Approach
6. Orientalism and Post-Colonial History
7. Atlantic History, World History and Global History
8. Gender History
9. The Post-modern challenge
10. Paradigm Shifts in the History of Science and Technology


1. Archives and Libraries
2. Oral History
3. Archaeology
4. Family and Local Histories
5. Environmental History

Interdisciplinary approaches

1. Literature and History
2. International Relations and History
3. Anthropology and History
4. History and the Sociological Imagination
5. Film and History

The use and abuse of History

1. Angkor Wat and the Cambodian Genocide
2. Ireland and the politics of the past
3. Nazi Germany and the Abuse of History
4. The mythologizing of the Magna Carta
5. Imagining a national past in medieval Europe

History in past societies

1. Chinese chronicles
2. Monks and the writing of the past
3. Religious texts as Historical documentation
4. Inscriptions as a commentary on the past
5. Architecture and reverence to the past


The five seminars topics will be chosen by the seminar leader according to period specialism, and will be based around a number of texts, for example:

Semester 1
The Annales and Carlo Ginsburg's Cheese and the Worms
Namier and Charles Townshend
Marx and E. P. Thompson's Making of the English Working Class
Gender and Amanda Vickery's Gentleman's Daughter
Paradigm Shifts and Koestler's Sleepwalkers

Semester 2
Anthropology and Keith Thomas's Religion and the Decline of Magic
Sociology and Weber's Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Revisionism in Ireland and Kevin Whelan el's 1798: A Bicentennial Perspective
Anglo-Saxon Liberties, the Norman Yoke and Paine's Rights of Man
The American War of Independence and Gibbon's Decline and Fall

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication The development of communication skills through learning how to present an effective argument is a key component of the module. Written communication skills are assessed as part of both the coursework and the examination.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will receive feedback on their assessed work in each semester which will assist them to reflect on and improve their performance during the module.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to make use of appropriate resources online, as well as Blackboard, lecture capture and word processing software.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them to identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students will be encouraged to reflect on the sorts of problems encountered by historians in various aspects of the discipline and to consider their approach to the solution of those problems.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by learning to locate and identify relevant information to assist them to complete their assignments.
Subject Specific Skills Students will develop an awareness of how historians, professional and otherwise, have approached the discipline in the past, which should inform the reading they undertake for other modules.
Team work There is the potential to develop this through contributions to the small group seminars.


This module is at CQFW Level 6