Dissertations Coordinator: Dr Lydia Plath
A dissertation is compulsory for all History single honours students and an option for all joint degree students. The dissertation is weighted at 30 CATS and must be based either on a final year module that the student is enrolled on, a module taken in year 2, or a module taken during the Year Abroad (the latter with permission from the Dissertations Coordinator). The dissertation length is up to 9,000 words, not including footnotes or bibliography.
Undertaking a dissertation will allow students to undertake a substantive piece of historical research and produce an article-length essay. It gives students the opportunity to work in a way similar to an academic historian: identifying a suitable research topic; mastering the relevant historiography; immersing themselves in a wide variety of primary sources, where appropriate; and being able to sustain a coherent and logical argument. As a final year module it will encourage students to put the training received in their earlier years of study to practical use.
Each student will receive regular personal guidance from a supervisor throughout the dissertation process. Supervisors will be assigned during Term One of the Final Year. In addition, the Dissertations Coordinator will be available for general guidance and queries. As an exception, students on the Renaissance stream of single honours History who spend their first term of their final year in Venice will have one of the Venice Tutors designated as their Dissertations Coordinator.