In the curriculum: Modules
Teaching in the History Department is research-led, which means that the modules offered to students are based on the research interests of the academic staff in the Department. The modules are continually reviewed and updated, and each year approximately a quarter of modules are retired and replaced with newly created modules, reflecting the latest research expertise within the Department. Students are taught by staff engaged in the very latest research on the topics they are studying.
A full list of the Department's research expertise is available online.
In the curriculum: Dissertation
The undergraduate dissertation, compulsory for single-honours and optional for joint-honours, allows students to undertake a substantive piece of historical research and produce an article-length essay at the end of it. 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 encourages students to put the training received in their earlier years of study to practical use.
Extra-curricular research opportunities
Student Fellowship Programme
The History Department Student Fellowship Programme gives undergraduate students a paid opportunity to join the History Department as a research assistant, student ambassador, or digital ambassador. Students engaged in the programme gain valuable skills and experience, and learn more about the History Department. Find out more on the Student Fellowship Programme website.
The History Department hosts several research seminar series and reading groups, offering a wide range of events every term. Undergraduate students are very welcome to attend any of these events, details of which are available on the Research Seminars and Reading Groups webpages.
Undergraduate students are encouraged to go beyond their studies and develop their work for publication. The writing may have an origin in one of the History Department modules, but require additional work and effort to reach the required standard for publication. Recent examples include 'The Functions of Inn Signs and their Place in Early Modern British History', by Catherine Dent in Reinvention 4/1 (2011) and the 50th anniversary 'Voices of the University' oral history project.
British Conference for Undergraduate Research (BCUR)
The History Department will reimburse transportation cost to the BCUR for any current undergraduate History student who has had a paper accepted and will present at the conference. The Department will also reimburse the conference fee for the day the student is presenting their paper. To claim this reimbursement, students must complete an application form and receive confirmation of approval before the purchase of tickets or payment of fees and, following the conference, complete an expenses claim form within three months including original receipts. Students are also required to provide a short report on their experience of presenting at the BCUR. This report may be used on the Department webpage or social media sites.
Examples of departmental student research projects
URSS Projects (2019)
- Amal Malik - Transgressive Women: On the margins of Nineteenth Century society.
- April Jackson - International Interventions into Child Labour Practices in Colonial Malawi and Kenya.
- Charles Edwards - Responses to Rural Protest in South Wales: Rebecca.
- Lauren Sleight - What impact has Brexit had on young people’s participation and understanding of politics.
- Marijus Zabiela - 'Diplomacy with Barbarians': A study of communication and the role of Western envoys in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
- Yasser Al-Saraf - A comparative study on British and French resistance movements between 1815-1850.
ICUR Student Presenters (2019)
- Emma Coleman
- Daniel Gettings
- Georg-Henri Kaup
- Amal Malik
- Jack Mitchell
- Eleni Psatha
- Isabelle Riepe
- Marijus Zabiela
Research opportunities for postgraduate taught students
The postgraduate dissertation, compulsory for all postgraduate taught students, is a piece of original research of either 15,000 or 20,000 words in length. The dissertation is the most important piece of work produced in the course by each student. Supervised by a member of academic staff, students identify a suitable research topic, master the relevant historiography, immerse themselves in a wide variety of primary sources, and write a coherent and logical argument.
The History Department hosts several research seminar series and reading groups, offering a wide range of events every term. Postgraduate Taught students are very welcome to attend any of these events, details of which are available on the Research Seminars and Reading Groups webpages.