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The Historian's Craft MRes


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Carmen Mangion
  • Assessment: a 500-750-word dissertation project plan (0%) and a 4500-4750-word dissertation proposal (100%)

Module description

This is a compulsory module for all students studying the MRes History.

As historians we are meant to explore the past with a critical lens, re-interpreting the past for the present. In order to carry out historical research, we need to develop a set of skills to interpret, assess and present this history. This module will introduce you to the practical skills and techniques of historical research.

First you will develop skills in locating, retrieving and managing a variety of historical material and creating a working bibliography for your own research. Next, you will learn how to contextualise, analyse and evaluate primary and secondary sources. Lastly, you will be introduced to a range of qualitative and quantitative software used for organising, accessing and analysing historical data.

The skills learned in this module will be used to create a viable dissertation proposal.

Indicative module syllabus

  • Planning your dissertation
  • Digital history/reading online primary sources
  • Reading primary sources
  • Using archives
  • Historians, qualitative analysis and CAQDAS software/notetaking
  • Historical approaches and research methodologies
  • Writing your research proposal/dissertation writing
  • Historians, prosopography and quantitative analysis

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • develop a comprehensive bibliography
  • interpret and analyse both primary and secondary resources
  • evaluate the current debates of your chosen field of historical inquiry
  • analyse and critique online source material
  • assess current information technology available for managing and analysing text or data
  • improve your research, writing and discussion skills
  • extend your capacity for critical analysis and reflection.