Methods and Interpretations of Historical Research - HI878

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
7 30 (15)







This course investigates the nature of historical research at its highest level. While postgraduate students are expected to become highly specialised researchers in their own particular field or subfield, this course encourages them to consider history as a wider discipline and to broaden their approach to evidence and interpretation. Students will be expected to engage with a variety of intellectual viewpoints and methodological approaches to the discipline, and consider the impact that other disciplines have had on the study of History. A number of dissertation workshops will be arranged to help students with their dissertations.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Contact Hours: 3 hours per week

Method of assessment

100% coursework: Assessment will be based upon the keeping of a portfolio (or workbook) related to the seminars. The portfolio is a tool designed to get students to think critically about a range of issues, debates and approaches to the discipline of history. Students will be assessed, therefore, on the basis of their understanding and capacity to appraise critically the core readings and the various questions asked and issues raised. The portfolio will consist of seven pieces of work, and the total word count should not exceed 10,000 words.

Indicative reading

Burke, Peter, What is Cultural History? (Cambridge: Polity, 2004; 2nd edn 2008)
Evans, Richard J., Cosmopolitan Islanders: British Historians and the European Continent (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)
Jenkins, Keith and Munslow, Alun (eds.), The Nature of History Reader (London: Routledge, 2004)
Mcintyre, Stuart, Maiguashca, Juan and Pók, Attila (eds.), The Oxford History of Historical Writing, vol. 4: 1800-1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)
Poriciani, Ilaria and Raphael, Lutz (eds.), Atlas of European Historiography: The Making of a Profession, 1800-2005 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
Rublack, Ulinka (ed.), A Concise Companion to History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)
Schneider, Axel and Woolf, Daniel (eds.), The Oxford History of Historical Writing, vol. V: Historical Writing since 1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)
Woolf, Daniel, A Global History of History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The aims of this module are
• to explore the history of historical research and the current research landscape;
• to engage with theoretical and methodological questions;
• to introduce particular fields of historical enquiry;
• to equip students with research techniques.


All students (both Research and Taught) must pass HI878 in order to progress.

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