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History > Research-led learning environment

How does the History Department define a 'research-led environment'?


  • ‘Research Culture forms an important part of the department, covering a wide range of subjects and interests relating to the academic strengths in History at Warwick.’ 

Welcome to the Warwick History Department:

  • The Home page of the History Department was edited during this study.
  • A new paragrpah has been added that greatly emphasises research within the department.
  • '38 academic staff' who have research interests from around the globe.
  • '600 undergraduates are enrolled in our programmes'.
  • They then discuss MA and Phd opportunities.
  • Boasts £1.3 million in new research grants and contracts in 07/08 (will undergraduates recieve any funding?)
  • States: 'was ranked equal second in overall grade point average in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).
  • Explains the History Department has four research centres.
  • There is a slideshow of pictures above the text, which give images relating to the research centres. These pictures come with captions.

What provisions are made for Undergraduate Students to engage in research?

Research Centres

Research Centres:

There are four Research Centres within in the department. Outlined below are the provisions made for undergraduate research opportunities within each centre.

1. Centre for History of Medicine 

Graduate Students:

  • It claims that from undergraduate to MA level, ‘students affiliated with the centre are encouraged to play an active part in the History of Medicine community.’ It goes onto explain that there are 5 undergraduate courses taught by Staff attached to the Centre.

2. The Warwick Eighteenth Century Centre 

Eighteenth Century Centre: 

  • There is no mention of any involvement with undergraduate students.


  • Staff from this research centre teach undergraduate students, thus their research my effect the undergraduate curriculum.

3. Global History and Cultural Centre

About the Global History and Cultural Centre:

  • This only encourages ‘graduate research in Global History’. No mention of undergraduate opportunities.

People in the Global History and Cultural Centre:

  • Staff from this research centre teach undergraduate students, thus their research my effect the undergraduate curriculum.

4. Warwick in Venice

Warwick in Venice:

  • Merely explains that Warwick has teaching premises in Venice with distinctive programmes of study that continues ‘to attract undergraduate and postgraduate research applications.’

Using the Palazzo:

  • Following a ‘teaching and researching’ link from the paragraphs on the home page, the only information about research given is that the ‘Venice facility is a perfect base for individual researchers, providing access to Warwick facilities in a spectacular European location.’

Seminars and Reading Groups

Research Seminars and Reading Groups:

  • The Research section of the website also advertises 10 research seminars or reading groups.
  • The information on each group is very vague merely giving the subject under discussion and the time and place of the event.

Opportunity for Research within Undergraduate Curriculum

Third Year Modules

Historiography: Aims and Objectives:

  • ‘Historiography is also intended to develop students' abilities in study, in research, and in oral and written communication, through a programme of seminars, lectures and essay work.’

Course Details:

  • In Comparative American Studies, ‘to develop the capacities needed to carry through a project of independent research’

First and Second year Modules


  • 'Conduct a survey of novel-reading among a small group of friends/students/family/colleagues. Give an account of your findings, discussing your subjects as historically-situated readers.'
  • 'techniques of literary analysis for the purposes of historical inquiry'


Developing South Asia Course Timetable:

  • Similarly, a second year module Developing South East Asia puts on a ‘Resource Discovery Session’ in week 8, to enable students to become familiar with historical research skills.

Student Quote:

Undergraduate Students Profiles:

One of the undergraduate student talk about 'research',

'I look for the obvious in the library in terms of history books. I also look for online journals and, if they're not online, I'd expect the library to have them.I do about 30-40% of my research online. I have a laptop linked to the online library catalogue and I can search for books on that. If you'd interviewed me two years ago, I would have said that I wasn't confident about using the library, but now I find it very easy.'


URSS projects 08/09:

There is a link for the URSS on the undergraduate home page. Following this link I searched for current projects that were being carried out during the academic year 2008/09.

  • Out of 114 projects, only 4 were being conducted by students supervised by academics from the history department.
  • 1 of these students was in fact a second year sociology student.
  • From the remaining 3 students left, 1 was a first year student, the other 2 students were both second years.
  • Another second year history student, did a research project, funded by one of the research centres: Centre for the history of Medicine.
  • In total therefore 4 history undergraduates did their own research project in 2008/09