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Assessment of the module for all students is 50% for two essays and 50% a 2-hour exam in the May/June session of examinations.

  1. The exam will be divided into two parts: students will be required (1) to provide historical comments on two short passages drawn from the main sources and (2) to write two essays (from a choice of titles).
  2. Students are required to produce 2 essays during the module (length: 2,500 words), one in each term.


For submission deadlines, click here. 

If you think that you will have difficulty in meeting a deadline, it is vital to inform either the Head of Department (Prof. Kevin Butcher) or the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Prof. Andrew Laird) well in advance; otherwise you will be penalized in line with University policy (deduction of 5% per day). You will almost certainly be required to provide medical evidence or a letter proving exceptional circumstances. Extensions are almost never granted for:

  • coincidence of essay deadlines for different modules
  • problems with computers or printers NOR
  • availability of books

Deadlines are announced well in advance and it is your responsibility as students to organize your work to ensure that you meet your different commitments in the time allowed. These measures may seem draconian but they have been introduced at the request of students who thought it was unfair if extensions were granted too readily or without documentation.


Plagiarism, defined as ‘the attempt to pass off someone else’s work as one’s own’ is a variety of cheating or fraud. It is taken very seriously by the University and students who are caught can suffer penalties which are extremely detrimental to their career. If in doubt about what constitutes plagiarism, please consult the online tutorial available on the University website.

To avoid any confusion however you should take special care with two things:

  1. Cite the sources you are using
  2. Use quotation marks for the quotes you are quoting.

References to electronic resources must be accompanied by the reference to the link (full URL) and the name of the author and his/her affiliations. Wikis are not allowed.

Avoiding plagiarism

All written work produced for assessment must be entirely yours. Your work will often use material covered in lectures and seminars, but your work must demonstrably be your own representation of that material. You must not quote from other people’s work word-for-word without acknowledging this by use of “quotation-marks”. If you present someone else’s thoughts, words, or other work as your own, then you will have committed plagiarism. In general it is poor practice to scatter quotations from other scholars throughout your essay; you should attempt to rephrase what other people have said in your own words, and then also include a reference to the source of your ideas in a footnote. When taking notes from journals and books, make sure that you indicate clearly in your notes, using quotation marks, if you are copying directly word-for-word. This will ensure that you do not inadvertently reproduce someone else’s words in your essay. In general, however, the best practice is to paraphrase and analyse as you read and make notes so that your notes do not simply copy out chunks of other people’s work. You should also avoid referring to what a lecturer has said without finding out for yourself on what his/her ideas are based. You may cite primary sources on handouts.

Rules for avoiding plagiarism

Good study technique, writing style and correct referencing of quotations will help you to avoid unintentional plagiarism. If you follow these simple rules you will always be safe:

  • Always take down a detailed reference for each text that you read and take notes from;
  • While copying quotations, make sure you clearly mark them as quotations in your working notes;
  • Gather and use your own examples whenever you want to support a particular view;
  • Ensure that all quotations are surrounded by quotation marks;
  • Ensure that your references can be used to locate the original source text.