Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 4 x 2 hour seminars & 1 hour tutorial


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment ONE SHORT PROJECT: 2,000 WORDS  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
Recognise, order and review a body of knowledge in the field of historical methodology as it particularly relates to historians of the modern period

Identify and use in interpretation comparative perspectives on the utilisation of primary source materials

Compare and evaluate a range of approaches to the use of source materials as these relate to the development of a research project

Read, analyse and reflect critically on the secondary literature providing the context for advanced historical research

to work both independently and collaboratively

Brief description

Through a short series of seminar workshops, students will be introduced to types of primary source material commonly used by historians of the modern period, such as newspapers and oral testimony. Through prior reading for the seminars, students will be expected to familiarize themselves with some of the discussions surrounding the use of these common forms of primary source material. Discussions in the seminars will focus on the potential of each source to enrich historical understanding, while also dealing with the potential pitfalls, methodological difficulties, and ethical issues inherent in each.


Historians at Masters level need to examine many kinds of source material, and to deploy many different skills during the course of their studies. For historians of the modern period, there are a number of commonly used source materials which present unique, and sometimes difficult, problems of interpretation and methodology. This module aims to assist students in using such source materials critically and appropriately during a piece of original research.



Four of the following will be taught in any one year

1. Oral History
2. Historians and newspapers
3. Sound and film sources
4. History and Memory
5. Using Government documents
6. Biography

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Read a wide range of both primary and secondary texts; demonstrate and develop the ability to communicate ideas in an essay; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars.
Improving own Learning and Performance Show awareness of own learning styles, personal preferences and needs; devise and apply realistic learning and self management strategies.
Information Technology Use various search tools to survey existing literature and sources; use range of commonly used software packages to prepare and present written work.
Personal Development and Career planning Develop awareness of skills needed to undertake the research project the student has in mind; plan and prepare for future course / career.
Problem solving Develop original, creative and systematic approaches to problem solving; evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions.
Research skills Understand the development of a range of research methods within the discipline of history; understand how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research; produce academically appropriate pieces of written work.
Subject Specific Skills Awareness of the need to place research within the broad context of debates occurring within modern history as an academic discipline
Team work Understand the concept of group dynamics; contribute to the setting of group goals; contribute effectively to the planning of group activities; play an active part in group activities; exercise negotiation and persuasion skills; evaluate group activities and own contribution


This module is at CQFW Level 7