History Dissertation - HI993

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Summer
View Timetable
7 60 (30)







All students on taught MA programmes in the School of History are required to complete a 15,000-18,000 word dissertation as part of their programme. The task of the dissertation is designed to provide students with the opportunity to articulate key concepts, ideas and theories underlying their creative work, as well as providing an in-depth contextual presentation of their work situating it within the current historiography. The dissertation involves student-directed learning and research with the aim of producing a structured and persuasive argument, demonstrating a command of the technical languages of a variety of historical approaches, and perhaps including the effective use of visual materials in support of their arguments.


This module appears in:

Method of assessment

Students will be required to produce one dissertation of 15,000-18,000 words which comprises 100% of the coursework mark.

Students will also be expected to complete three pieces of formative written work as part of the dissertation workshop. These pieces will be expected to form part of the framework of the dissertation, incorporating a proposed synopsis and annotated bibliography. This work is intended to inform the arguments and findings of the dissertation and as such will not contribute to the overall assessment.

Indicative reading

D. Swetnam (2000) Writing Your Dissertation: A guide to Planning, Preparing and Presenting First Class Work. Oxford: How To Books

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Navigate a number of sub-disciplines of history, including political, cultural, social, media and military history, and will have a comprehensive understanding of the shape and importance of historiography in these fields.
2. Produce (and reflect on) written assignments and oral arguments engaging with the origins and development of culture, politics and society in the modern period, demonstrating a systematic understanding of relevant subjects..
3. Critically evaluate current research and advanced historical scholarship in depth and detail.
4. Demonstrate self-direction and originality through the planning and writing of original history essays, centres around a coherent argument that deals with complex issues both systematically and creatively.
5. Express complex thoughts about the application of methods, concepts and theories used in the study of history and other relevant disciplines through written and oral communication and presentation.
6. Conduct research and independent study into theoretical and historical materials.


The intended generic learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Construct and critically evaluate arguments.
2. Reflect on their own learning, applying their ability for independent learning to consider the ways in which they can advance their knowledge and understanding and develop new skills to a high level.
3. Produce a word-processed dissertation that is of a high scholarly standard in terms of presentation and professionalism.
4. Effectively research using the Templeman Library, archives and (as appropriate) the Internet, recognising their associated problems/benefits.

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