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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Historical Methodology (PGHC11335)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis second-semester course follows on from the first-term Skills and Sources course, by providing first-year graduate students with the methodological training they require to orientate their research strategies in an increasingly interdisciplinary field. Through a series of core lectures, and a wide-ranging series of pathways with members of academic staff, students will develop a meaningful familiarity with the interpretive strategies and secondary materials that define major approaches in current historical scholarship. Weekly study groups will discuss the assigned readings in advance of each lecture, addressing questions set by the course organiser.
Course description This course will comprise seven elements:-
1. Core lectures attended by the whole MSc History cohort, weeks 1-5, and 9-11
2. Weekly study group discussions of assigned reading for lectures, in advance of each meeting, with summaries sent in to the course organiser receiving written feedback. Each student will continue in the study group to which they were assigned in the first term that relates them to others with similar research interests.
3. Two pathways in the methodologies chosen by the student, running weeks 2-5 and 6-8.
4. Class presentations in week 10.
4. Database workshop (optional)
5. Palaeography workshops, fortnightly (optional)
6. Skills workshops in May: digital mapping, CV writing, social media (optional)
7. Submission of a final research paper (3000 words) for numerical assessment.
Pathways offered include social, intellectual, religious and cultural histories, Atlantic, and transnational history, military cultural history, approaches to popular culture, writing contemporary history, and the 'Psy' disciplines.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One written piece of coursework relating to one of the pathways chosen.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate in a written piece of coursework, a detailed and critical command of the methodology, the primary sources, and related secondary literature from one of the pathways that they have chosen
  2. Demonstrate in a written piece of coursework an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning the specialised methodology of the pathway that they have chosen to do the coursework for, its relevant primary source materials, and conceptual discussions about that methodology
  3. Demonstrate in seminar discussions, and class presentations, an ability to understand and apply specialised methodology, its techniques and practices considered in the specialised field of the pathway chosen
  4. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral form in seminar discussions, class presentations, and study group meetings by independently addressing study group and pathway questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
  5. Demonstrate in seminar discussions, class presentations, and study group meetings originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
Gunn, Simon, & Lucy Faire (eds), Research Methods for History (Edinburgh, 2011)

Gunn, Simon (ed.), History and Cultural Theory (Longmans, 2006)

Iggers, G., 'The History and Meaning of the Term "Historicism"', Journal of the History of Ideas 56, 1995, 129-152

Braudel, Fernand, 'History and the Social Sciences: La Longue Durée', tr. Sarah Matthews, On History. Chicago, 1980. 25-54.

Jones, Max, 'What Should Historians Do with Heroes? Reflections on Nineteenth- and Twentieth century Britain', History Compass 5:2 (2007), 439-54

Hobsbawm, Eric, and Terence Ranger, The Invention of Tradition (1983, 2012 edition)

Anderson, Benedict, 'Introduction', Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London, 1991)

Scott, J. W., "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis," American Historical Review 91 (Dec 1986): 1053-75.

Houlbrook, Matt, '"Lady Austin's camp boys": constituting the queer subject in 1930s London', Gender & History, 14:1 (2002) 31-61

Burke, Peter What Is Cultural History? (Cambridge, 2008)

Joyce, Patrick, 'What is the Social in Social History?', Past and Present, 206:1 (2010)

Darnton, Robert, 'Workers Revolt: The Great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint Séverin', in History Today, 34:8 (1984)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 2. Weekly online discussion
The online Graduate Research Network (see Historical Research: Sources and Skills) will host an online discussion forum for each of the seminars, which will enable structured yet reflective discussion on one of the readings assigned for each week. Moderated by the course organiser, each member of each seminar will post a 300-word thread two days in advance of each meeting. All postings are linked and archived according to each student's online profile - where they describe their research interests and have the ability to post examples of their research. The Network is encrypted and accessible by password.

3. Participation at PhD Presentation Day
This full-day event will take place on Wednesday of Week 4. Structured in panels of two presenters, with titles circulated in advance, each PhD-1 student will give a 15-minute paper on any aspect of his/her research interests; MSc students provide written feedback on the presentation and will reconvene on the Friday for follow-up discussion with the presenters.
KeywordsHistMeth Historical Methodology
Course organiserDr Alasdair Raffe
Tel: (0131 6)51 4269
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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