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Aims and Assessment


  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key themes within African history and its historiography for the period since 1800
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Africa‚Äôs position within global historical trends
  • Develop understanding of different interdisciplinary approaches to the study of African history, including anthropology and political science
  • Critically assess the worth of primary source material and different types of sources, including government documents, speeches, oral history, ethnography and visual sources
  • Discuss critically and demonstrate ability to construct persuasive oral and written arguments in relation to the history and politics of modern Africa


The module will be assessed in three ways:

  • 1 x oral presentation in Term 1 (20%)
  • 1 x 2,000-word essay due Term 2, Week 3 (30%)
  • 1 x 3,000-word essay due Term 3, Week 3 (50%)

Oral presentations will take place in seminars in weeks 4, 5 and 7 of Term 1 (you will be assigned to a week). The presentation will form the basis of the essay that you submit in Term 2. The presentation should last no more than 5 minutes (please practice and time yourself) and should take the form of an essay outline. Please include: an introductory statement that makes it clear how you interpret the question and what your answer is; a series of points that develop and defend your answer; a conclusion that summarises the points you have already made and indicates your plans for further research (e.g. any gaps or uncertainties that you have at this stage and wish to look into further).

The second assignment of 2,000 words will build on the presentation.

The third piece of submitted work is a 3,000 word assessed essay. This will allow you to explore a new topic in depth. You can base this essay on one of the seminar questions or formulate your own question, with help from your tutor.

Use the Essay Writing Checklist in the History Department Student Handbook to help you to plan and prepare your assessments. The Handbook also has information on presentation and referencing and how to avoid plagiarism.

Please note that essay word limits are absolute and do not include footnotes or the bibliography. Essays which exceed the word limit will be penalised.

Extensions may be granted but only in exceptional circumstances. All extension requests should be made via Tabula in advance of the published assessment deadline.


You will receive feedback on your essays and assignments on Tabula. There are no set ways to succeed in university essay writing, but do read the mark scheme to understand the criteria that you will be marked against and therefore need to think carefully about when researching, planning and writing. The usual turn-around for assignments is 20 working days. Meetings to discuss feedback are optional, but you are strongly encouraged to take the opportunity to receive individual advice on how to strengthen your work.

You will also be asked to provide feedback on the module content and delivery at several points throughout the year so that we can address any problems and make any necessary adjustments to the syllabus and teaching practice. This feedback is anonymous. We will think carefully about this feedback and post a response here:

Interim Module Feedback 2019-2020

End of Module Feedback 2019-2020