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Group History Project

Second Year Module

Module Leader: Dr Edward Packard

The Group Project offers students a unique and exciting chance to go beyond the normal lecture and seminar-based framework of university history teaching and to explore creative ways with which to connect academic study with the wider public domain. This module will extend participants appreciation of and experience in applied history.It addresses the need to make explicit both the vocational nature of a history degree and the transferable competencies and skills developed through the study of history. It also seeks to specifically enhance students competency in team-working and project management. Participants will work together to develop and complete a work-related project with a historical theme. Projects may take a variety of forms, but they will all result in a tangible finished product and outcomes will be disseminated publicly. The module will support students, subject to opportunities, as well as ethical and health and safety considerations, to make connections outside the University, engaging with local partners, community-based organisations, individuals and groups.

Students will negotiate and define the precise nature of their chosen project-topic in conjunction with module tutors. Typically projects will focus on a topic linked to the historical experience of the locality in some way and will provide students with the opportunity to engage with the community and/or partner organisations outside the University of Suffolk. Projects will have a significant research dimension and will result in outcomes that are deliverable publicly (for example in the form of an exhibition, publication or performance). Projects will be realisable and manageable in scope and yet represent (depending on group size) a significant exercise in research. Students will work, under supervision, in groups of between five and ten. The organisation and initial programme of activity for groups will be defined in early workshop sessions. These sessions will be complemented by a seminar series on areas relevant to project interests and objectives.

Learning and Teaching Strategies:

This module will be delivered through a combined weekly lecture andseminar plus tutorial support. Where appropriate supporting resources will also be made available online. Seminar sessions will be designed to encourage student participation and will support students in strengthening their skills of presentation, discussion, argument and debate, and in evaluating, interpreting and using secondary and primary sources.





Weighting %


Submission date

Group History Project

Group presentation  


10-20 minutes

Week 3


Project work



Week 11

Defined task: reflective review


1,500 words

End of semester


Recommended introductory reading:

I.Dawson and J.Pennington, History Teaching and Learning, (Manchester, 2000)

L.Jordanova, History in Practice, (London, 2006)

D.Nicholls, Making history students enterprising: independent study at Manchester Polytechnic, Studies in Higher Education, 17, 1, 1992, pp.67-80.

P.Baguley, Teams and Team-working, (London, 2002)


Further Reading

N.B. A full reading list is included in a module handbook which will be provided in the first week of teaching.

The reading for this module will vary according to the topics selected. Some suggestions are provided below to support outline thinking about reflective learning, team-working processes, the nature of history and the skills and competencies developed through undergraduate study.

J.Tosh, The Pursuit of History, 4th Edition (Harlow, 2006 edition)

J.Black and D.M.MacRaild, Studying History, 2nd edition, (Basingstoke, 2000))

D.Nicholls, The Employment of History Graduates: an update, available at:

A.Booth and P.Hyland, History in Higher Education: New Directions in Learning and Teaching, (Oxford, 1996)

T.Burns, Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success at University, (London, 2008)

V.Bailey, et al. Essential Research Skills, 2nd edn., (London,1995)