Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Working with History
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 4 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2,000 word analytical diary  2,000 word analytical diary. A record of the work during the work placement and a critical reflection on work-related skills employed during the placement.  30%
Semester Assessment 4,000 word essay  4,000 word essay based on a specific question relevant to the area of work during the work placement.  60%
Practical Assessment Oral Assessment: short presentation  10%
Supplementary Assessment RESIT: 2,000 word analytical diary  30%
Supplementary Assessment RESIT: 4,000 word essay  60%
Supplementary Assessment Oral Assessment: Short presentation  10%

Learning Outcomes

Describe and analyse the approach to the conservation and presentation of historical material in the institution where they work during the module.

Discuss and analyse the academic debates surrounding concepts of public history and the representation of the past.

Link various practical experiences with key themes in the use of historical sources in the field relevant to the placement.

Discuss and outline how the period of work experience has enhanced various transferable skills, both oral and written.


The module will give students the opportunity to undertake a work placement at a leading historical institution, on projects broadly relating to their theme of Masters study. Students will gain an insight into how organisations conserve, catalogue and display historical material, and engage with the public. Students will gain an understanding of the operation and policies of institutions dedicated to the protection and promotion of the material and written past, and a range of issues and debates around `public history? and the ways in which the past is interpreted for public consumption. The module will also enrich the student'r experience of other modules by bringing them into close contact with primary sources and with professionals dedicated to their preservation and interpretation. The module is explicitly designed to promote the development of work-related skills.


The module will begin with an introductory seminar outlining the main current issues and debates on `public history?.

Students will then undertake a period of work placement at an institution, totaling 80-100 hours, during which they will compile an analytical diary, which will enable them to reflect critically on work-related skills employed during the placement. There may be some variation in the timing of the work placement during the academic year, depending on the arrangements for each institution. Some time will also inevitably elapse at the start of the semester to allow students to be matched up to appropriate projects in the co-operating institutions.

Following this, students will prepare an essay based on a specific question related to the area of work undertaken during the placement. This will be supported with tutorials, to help define the topic and to check progress.

Brief description

This module is based on a period of work placement at an institution that engages on a daily basis with history and how the past is portrayed to the public. Placements will be 80-100 hours in total, but can be over an intensive period or a regular weekly commitment over a longer period. The Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and the National Library of Wales have been approached as potential venues for work placements in the first instance, but it is hoped that the scheme can be extended in the future to encompass various archives both in Aberystwyth and further afield in order to provide students with a range of valuable experience.

Students will take part in institutions? activities in preserving, recording, cataloguing and presenting history to the public, on aspects of the past related to their period or theme of study. Projects particularly suitable for M level students are being identified in the relevant institutions. Students will work under the guidance of professionals in the fields of curatorship, archive management, public history and marketing.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Through understanding of statistical and other numerical data as it relates to the topics under review
Communication Through seminar discussion and diary / essay writing. Latter only is formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance By reflection on skills employed during the work placement.
Information Technology Through data retrieval exercises for research and cataloguing purposes and word-processing for essay writing purposes.
Personal Development and Career planning Through furthering understanding of the opportunities offered in careers relating to public history.
Problem solving By understanding how public historians employ a variety of different methodological approaches towards conserving, recording and presenting historical material.
Research skills By gaining an insight into how historical sources are used by various people and organisations, and by learning how to identify and utilise appropriate sources in the field of public history and utilising that material in their work.
Subject Specific Skills By enhancing understanding of how relevant primary sources are produced, catalogued and preserved.
Team work Through working with public history professionals in the institution where they undertake their placement


This module is at CQFW Level 7