Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Oral History: The Past in the Present
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 10 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Oral Assessment  20%
Semester Assessment Written project  4000 word  80%
Supplementary Assessment Written essay in lieu of oral assessment  1000 word  20%
Supplementary Assessment Written project  4000 word  80%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the value and relevance of oral history;
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the range of possibilities offered by the techniques of the oral historian;
3. Demonstrate an understanding of ethical research and good practice in interviewing and the management of records;
4. Demonstrate familiarity with the necessary skills to take part in an on-going oral history project.

Brief description

Nothing brings history more alive than speaking to those who have experienced it. This skills module focuses upon the practical and theoretical issues and skills of oral history interviewing, recording and documentation. By preparing, conducting and documenting an interview; drawing upon selective readings about oral history; and discussing interview experience within class, you will develop a practical understanding of oral history. Through first-hand experience of a group project you will face the challenges of combining theory and practice.

Underscoring this module is the ethical commitment that oral historians owe to their informants. Investigation of the power dynamics with the interview relationship will illuminate wider responsibilities historians owe to source, society and the past. Finally, issues of presentation and authorship will provide an insight into the constraints historians impose on their sources and scholarship.


1. Introduction to Oral History
2. Project design
3. Interview techniques
4. The ethics of oral history
5. The legality of interviews
6. Memory and oral history
7. The presentation of oral history
8. Analysing oral history
9. Project update
10. Reflection


This module is at CQFW Level 5