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Researching History

Second Year Module

Module Leaders: Vivienne Aldous and other contributors

This mandatory module is designed to prepare students for the dissertation-level research they will undertake in their final year. It will develop further practical research skills and increase students' understanding of the methodological and historiographical underpinnings of historical research. It is taught in collaboration with Suffolk Record Office amd includes a significant amount of interaction with primary sources. Students will develop skills in the location and interpretation of a wide range of source materials such as the census, newspapers and published discourse, local authority records, parliamentary papers, cabinet records, visual images, diaries and letters, interviews and oral history transcripts and material culture. The module will introduce students to a range of historiographical and methodological approaches to researching history and provide guidance on the framing, management, organisation and execution of historical research projects.

Learning and Teaching Strategies:

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




Weighting %


Submission Date

Researching History

Defined task


2,500 words

Week 6

Project Proposal


2,000 words

Week 12

Oral Presentation


10 minutes with hand-outs of not less than 2 sides of A4

As scheduled

Recommended introductory reading:

S.Barber, History Beyond the Text: A Student's Guide to Using Alternative Sources, (Abingdon, 2008)

A.Brundage, Going to the Sources: A Guide to Historical Research and Writing, 4th edn. (Arlington Heights, 2013)

C.Bombaro,Finding History: Research Methods and Sources for Students and Scholars,(Plymouth, 2012)

M.Donnelly and C.Norton, Doing History, (Abingdon, 2011)

S.Gunn and L.Faire, Research Methods for History, (Edinburgh, 2011)

W.H.McDowell, Historical Research: A Guide, (London, 2002)

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