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

Postgraduate Course: Historical Research: Skills and Sources (PGHC11334)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis core course is taken by all MSc History (Taught) graduate students as an introduction to the key skills and sources they need to build a research project, with the ultimate objectives being to enable students to complete both their written coursework, and their Masters dissertation. Core lectures will explore strategies for archival research, develop writing skills and introduce students to the archives available to them in Edinburgh. Students will then choose two four-week pathways, one of which will form the basis for the final course essay.
Course description This course will consist of four elements:
1. Core lectures, in weeks 1, 10 & 11.
2. Independent Archive visits.
3. Two pathways chosen by the student, running weeks 2-5 and 6-9.
4. Submission of a final research paper (5,000 words), worth 100% of the final course grade.

Students on the MSc in Medieval History MUST take the medieval pathways.
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 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  100
Course Start Semester 1
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) Coursework:
5,000 word final research paper relating to the pathway chosen, the title of which is to be agreed with the pathway lecturer (100%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a detailed and critical command of the primary sources, and related secondary literature from the pathway that they have chosen
  2. Analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning the specialised field of the pathway that they have chosen, its relevant primary source materials, and conceptual discussions about that field;
  3. Understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the specialised field of the pathway chosen;
  4. Develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral form within their pathways, and study group meetings by independently addressing study group and pathway questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course;
  5. Demonstrate 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
Zemon Davis, Natalie, Fiction in the Archives (Stanford, 1987)

Cannadine, David (ed.), What is History Now? (Basingstoke, 2004)

Elton, G.R. (ed.), What is History Now? (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002)

Evans, Richard J., In Defence of History (2nd edn. (London: Granta, 2000)

Tosh, Peter, The pursuit of history: aims, methods, and new directions in the study of modern history, 5th edn. (Harlow, 2010)

Budd, Adam, The modern historiography reader: Western sources pp.365-378 (London, 2009)

Claus, Peter and John Marriott, History: an Introduction to Theory, Method and Practice (London, 2012)

Dobson, M. and B. Ziemann, eds. Reading Primary Sources: The Interpretation of Texts from 19th and 20th Centuries (NY, 2009)

Barber, S. and C. M. Peniston-Bird, History Beyond the Text (London: Routledge 2009)

Weller, Toni, History in the Digital Age (Abingdon, Routledge, 2013)
Joyce, P., The State of Freedom: a Social History of the British State since 1800 (Cambridge, 2013)

Cultural and Social History, 11:3 (2014), debate forum on digital history
Tredinnick, Mark, Writing Well: the essential guide (Cambridge, 2008)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will develop those transferable skills essential to conducting research and for disseminating research findings, including:
* Designing a research project at the MSc level;
* Experience with generating and presenting oral and written arguments in a range of professional academic settings (e.g. in seminars, conferences, online discussion with peers, submission of written work for assessment);
* "Hands-on" training in locating, describing, and making meaningful analytical use of primary historical documents;
* Effective use of interactive electronic materials and related technology, including bibliographical software and databases.
KeywordsHistorical Research Skills Sources
Course organiserDr Jeremy Dell
Tel: (0131 6)50 4476
Course secretaryMr George Bottrell-Campbell
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
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