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Making Histories - HIS00001C

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  • Department: History
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Helen Cowie
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

This module is designed to introduce students to the skills required for studying history at degree level and the methods and approaches that inform historical practice. The module will help students to develop core skills such as: bibliographical research; note-taking; critical reading and source analysis; essay writing; surveying historical debates (that is, presenting historiographies); and oral, as well as written, presentation skills. Students will have the opportunity to apply these techniques and to develop their independent research skills by researching, presenting and writing-up a York-related historical case study which they will select from a series of suggested topics. The themes and locations of the different topics will also be explored during a guided walking tour. The case studies will introduce students to the variety of sources used by historians – material, visual and textual – and encourage them to make connections between the specific case studies and broader historical questions, perspectives and themes.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To introduce students to the skills required for studying history at degree level, and the methods and approaches that inform historical practice; and
  • To develop core skills such as: bibliographical search techniques; source analysis; essay writing; giving presentations; and, undertaking independent research.

Module learning outcomes

After completing this course, students should have:

  • an understanding of some of the principal methods and approaches used by historians
  • applied core degree-level study skills, including: note taking; bibliographical search techniques; source analysis; essay writing; giving presentations; undertaking independent research

Module content

Teaching Programme:
The module will be taught through nine lectures and nine two-hour seminars in weeks 2-10 of the autumn term:

Week 1: Briefing
Week 2: Studying history
Week 3: Historians at York
Week 4: Historical Evidence
Week 5: Scholarship
Week 6: Historical Fields
Week 7: Presenting History
Week 8: Writing History I
Week 9: Writing History II
Week 10: Overview and Tutor Meetings

The module will be accompanied by a guided walking tour of the city in week 3. In addition the students will attend two one-hour workshops run by the library in weeks 2 and 3. These workshops will take place in a computer room.


Task Length % of module mark
Short Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Students will complete two pieces of procedural work for formative assessment, consisting of a 1,000-word critical review to be submitted in week 4 of the autumn term and an annotated bibliography to be submitted in week 7 of the autumn term.

Students will also submit a 2,000-word assessed essay based on a chosen case study with a title agreed by the tutor in week 1 of spring term.


Task Length % of module mark
Short Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Following their formative assessment tasks, students will receive written feedback that will include comments and a mark within 10 working days of submission. Work will be returned to students in their discussion groups and may be supplemented by the tutor giving some oral feedback to the whole group. All students are encouraged, if they wish, to discuss the feedback on their procedural work at their supervisor’s student hours. For more information, visit the Statement on Feedback.

For the summative assessment task, students will receive their provisional mark and written feedback within 20 working days of the submission deadline. Their supervisor will then be available during student hours for follow-up guidance if required. For more information, see the Statement on Assessment.

Indicative reading

For term time reading, please refer to the module VLE site. Before the course starts, you might like to look at the following items of preliminary reading:

Arnold, John. A Very Short Introduction to History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Bentley, Michael. A Companion to Historiography. London: Routledge,1997.

Cooper, Geoffrey. The Intelligent Student's Guide to Learning at University. Altona, Victoria: Common Ground Publishing, 2003.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.