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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: History in Theory (HIST10407)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a core course intended to draw out the theoretical basis upon which different areas of the discipline of history are conducted, to enhance the ways in which subjects are defined and knowledge both pursued and argued. This combines the more philosophical questions of epistemology and more concrete illustrations to put meat on the bones. Twelve lectures will be complemented with more focussed pathways in which topics will be explored in more detail.
Course description The course will involve a series of twelve lectures. Indicative topics may include: objectivity in History, national histories, Marxism, gender, transnational history, memory, cultural history, popular culture, postmodernism and post-colonialism. In addition there will be range of Pathways (typically between fifteen and twenty in number) from which students chose one. Indicative topics may include: social history, gender history, Marxism, imperial history, 'modernisation', cultural history, intellectual history, political history, medievalism, orientalism and material culture. Students will each take one Pathway.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate command of a substantial body of historical knowledge
  2. demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain historical arguments in a variety of literary forms, formulating appropriate questions and utilizing evidence.
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the varieties of approaches to understanding, constructing, and interpreting the past; and where relevant, knowledge of concepts and theories derived from the humanities and the social sciences.
  4. demonstrate the ability to address historical problems in depth, involving the use of contemporary sources and advanced secondary literature
  5. demonstrate clarity, fluency, and coherence in written and oral expression
Reading List
Berger, S., Feldner, H., and Passmore, K. (eds.), Writing History: Theory and Practice (2003)
Budd, A., (ed.), The Modern Historiography Reader (2008)
Cannadine, D. (ed.), What is History Now? (2002)
Carr, E. H., What is History? (1961)
Evans, R. J., In Defence of History (2000)
Jenkins, K., Re-Thinking History (1991)
Jordanova, L., History in Practice (2000)
Tosh, J., The Pursuit of History (2002)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By taking this course students will develop:
- an ability to draw valid conclusions about the past
- an ability to identify, define and analyse historical problems
- an ability to select and apply a variety of critical approaches to problems informed by uneven evidence
- an ability to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding
- an ability to extract key elements from complex information
- readiness and capacity to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
- an ability to search for, evaluate and use information to develop knowledge and understanding
- recognition of the importance of reflecting on one's learning experiences and being aware of one's own particular learning style
- openness to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
- an ability to identify processes and strategies for learning
- independence as a learner, with readiness to take responsibility for one's own learning, and commitment to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
- an ability to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought.
- an ability to test, modify and strengthen one's own views through collaboration and debate
- intellectual curiosity
- an ability to make effective use of oral, written and visual means convey understanding of historical issues and one's interpretation of them.
- an ability to marshal argument lucidly and coherently
- an ability to collaborate and to relate to others
- readiness to seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness
- an ability to articulate one's skills as identified through self-reflection
- a command of bibliographical and library research skills, as well as a range of skills in reading and textual analysis
- close reading of texts
- an ability to produce coherent and well presented text, sometimes of considerable length
- an ability to produce text to meet standard presentational specifications as laid out in a style sheet
- an ability to make effective presentations, perhaps using audio visual support
Course organiserDr Tom Webster
Tel: (0131 6)50 3763
Course secretaryMiss Lorna Berridge
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