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

Postgraduate Course: Historical Research: Approaches to History (online) (PGHC11379)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is one of two 'core' courses on the online MSc in History. The aim of these two courses is to prepare students to undertake their dissertations. This course focuses on approaches and methodologies that historians have employed in order to understand and write about the past.
Course description The core course for the taught MSc in History (online) aims to provide first-year graduate students with the methodological training they require to orient their research strategies in an increasingly interdisciplinary field. It will provide an introduction to graduate-level study in history and provide students with the opportunity to enhance their skills in historical interpretation. Students will be made familiar with the range of online resources and databases available to them as students at the University of Edinburgh, and also how to search for further material online. It will be taught through a combination of podcast lectures, pathways, and virtual presentations. Students will be encouraged to focus on methods and materials that suit their individual research interests, which should anticipate the research required for successful completion of the MSc dissertation. Through a wide-ranging series of seminars and pathways with members of academic staff, students will develop a meaningful familiarity with the interpretative strategies and secondary materials that define major approaches in current historical scholarship. Finally the course will provide an introduction to the historical profession, including peer-review and professional modes of disseminating historical knowledge. This course complements the 'Historical Skills & Sources' core course offered in the fall semester on the online MSc in History.
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:  55
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 15/01/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Online Activities 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: 4,000 word Final Assignment (80%);
1,000 word Short Review (10%); and
200 -250 word Weekly Discussion Forum Posts (10%)

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 body of knowledge concerning approaches to the study of history at graduate level
  2. Analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship and primary source materials concerning, and conceptual discussions about the study of history
  3. Understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the course
  4. Develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in written form by independently formulating appropriate 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
AHR Forum, 'The objectivity question and the future of the historical profession,' American Historical Review, Vol. 96 (1991) pp. 675-708
Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt & Margaret Jacob, Telling the Truth About History (1994)

Stefan Berger, Mark Donovan & Kevin Passmore (eds.), Writing National Histories: Western Europe Since 1800 (1999)

Stefan Berger et al. (eds.), Writing History: Theory and Practice (2009)

Peter Burke, New Perspectives on Historical Writing (2001)

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

E.H. Carr, What is History? (1961)

Richard J. Evans, In Defence of History (2000)

Ludmilla Jordanova, History in Practice (2006)

Ulinks Rublack (ed.), A Concise Companion to History (2012)

John Tosh, The Pursuit of History (2002)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The study of the past gives students a unique understanding of the present that will enable them to succeed in a broad range of careers. The transferable skills gained from this course include:
- understanding of complex issues and how to draw valid conclusions from the past
- ability to analyse the origins and development of debates within history
- a command of bibliographical and library- and/or IT-based online and offline research skills
- a range of skills in reading and textual analysis
- ability to question and problematize evidence; considering the relationship between evidence and interpretation
- understanding ethical dimensions of research and their relevance for human relationships today
- ability to marshal arguments lucidly, coherently and concisely, both orally and in writing
- ability to deliver a paper or a presentation in front of peer audiences
- ability to design and execute pieces of written work and to present them suitably, as evidenced by the final assessment essay of 2,500 words
KeywordsHistorical Research Approaches History online
Course organiserDr Angela Bartie
Tel: 0131 650 3768
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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