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Exploring the Past


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor and tutor: to be confirmed
  • Assessment: an 1800-word historiography essay (60%), 800-word workshop journal (27%) and 400-word dissertation proposal (13%)

Module description

During this module, we look at how scholars have discussed the past and how our ways of approaching evidence shape the stories we tell. We explore themes across periods, regions and disciplines.

In thematic lectures we examine how particular ways of viewing the past have developed over time; in seminars we explore how arguments about historiography and methodology have created the modern disciplines of history, classics and archaeology. You will learn how to:

  • use references and reviews to understand topics of interest to you
  • work with theoretical frameworks to study the past
  • situate your own work in relation to that of other scholars.

Alongside our focus on ways of thinking about the past, we also provide training in key practical areas of advanced research, such as:

  • effective referencing
  • identification and interrogation of evidence in secondary literature
  • structuring extended academic writing.

Indicative syllabus

  • What is historiography?
  • Researching the historiography of a topic (using references, reviews, etc.)
  • Situating your work within a historiography
  • Theoretical frameworks
  • Methodology versus historiography

Learning objectives

By the end of the module, you should be able to:

  • identify and describe a range of historical debates
  • evaluate evidence and arguments presented by other scholars in a range of periods
  • write an extended piece semi-independently
  • reference and create a bibliography.