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History Dissertation

Third Year Module

Module Leader: Dr Louise Carter

Module Contributors: Dr Harvey Osborne, Dr Edward Packard, Dr Erich deWald, Vivienne Aldous

The mandatory dissertation module is the highlight of any History degree, providing you with the opportunity to put all your research and analysis skills into practice. It offers students the chance to design and develop an original extended study on a topic of their own choosing, based on the analysis of both primary and secondary sources. The dissertation should either be an investigation into a particular topic based upon the evaluation of primary sources, positioned and contextualised within their historiographical field, or an extensive and detailed review and analysis of the historiography of a specific historical topic, approximately 10,000 words in length. This module will enable the demonstration and enhancement of skills and knowledge gained through earlier study at Levels 4 and 5 and concurrent learning at Level 6 and also support the further development of competencies associated with employability.

The precise nature of content for this module will vary according to the dissertation topics of individual students. However, the overall timetable will be common to all students experience. The dissertation module will run across two full semesters at Level 6. During semester one workshop sessions will provide students with guidance on issues such as refining research proposals, choosing a methodology and approach, locating and selecting primary sources, using e-resources, compiling a bibliography, synthesising and analysing historiography, refining research focus andstrategies, the presentation and structure of written work, time management and the effective use of a research log. They will also serve as a forum for students to discuss research strategies and to reflect on progress.

Learning and Teaching Strategies:

In the first semester this module will be delivered throughweekly workshops focusing on the skills and approaches applicable to planning, organising and completing an independent research project. In semester two delivery will mainly focus on one-to-one supervisions with an appointed staff supervisor.




Weighting %


Submission date

History Dissertation

Defined Task: Historiographical Review


1,500 words

Week 9 semester one



8,000-10,000 words

End of  semester two


Recommended introductory reading:

Reading for this module will vary according to the topic selected by individual students.