Undergraduate Dissertation - HIST6150

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 6 30 (15) Karen Jones checkmark-circle


This module is designed to give final-year Single or Joint Honours History students an opportunity to independently research a historical topic, under the supervision of an expert in the field. Students are required to submit a dissertation (9,000 words +/-10%) based on research undertaken into primary sources, and an extended reading of secondary sources. The module is designed to allow students to engage in their own historical research into any chosen topic (under the guidance of a supervisory team in the first instance, and later an individual supervisor), and to present their research in a cogent and accessible format.


Contact hours

Supervision hours: 12
Independent Study hours: 288
Total hours: 300 hours

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

100% Project
1 x abstract and annotated bibliography (up to three sides of A4)
1 x 9,000-word dissertation

Reassessment methods:

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Derek Swetman, Writing your dissertation: how to plan, prepare and present successful work (Oxford University Press, 2000).
Carolyn Steadman, Dust (Manchester University Press, 2001).
Derrida, Jacques. Archive fever: A Freudian impression (University of Chicago Press, 1996).
Ghosh, Durba, et al. Archive stories: facts, fictions, and the writing of history (Duke University Press, 2006).
Blouin Jr, Francis X., and William G. Rosenberg. Processing the past: contesting authority in history and the archives (Oxford University Press, 2012).
Langlois, Charles Victor, and Charles Seignobos. Introduction to the Study of History (Duckworth & co., 1912).
Farge, Arlette. The allure of the archives (Yale University Press, 2013).
Davis, Natalie Zemon. Fiction in the archives: pardon tales and their tellers in sixteenth-century France (Stanford University Press, 1987).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Be able to pursue research at an advanced level.
2 Use primary resources and materials for historical subject matter and factual information. In particular to develop their appreciation of the epistemological and heuristic stakes and issues involved in historical research.
3 Seek out their own student intellectual self-development and independence through the identification of a clear academic subject matter for in-depth research.
4 Have conceptualised their chosen topic of research and placed it within a wider historiographical framework of debate or interest.
5 Demonstrate a concrete appreciation of the historian's craft and useful research skills which they will be able to use and deploy in most avenues of future employment.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Consider critically relevant intellectual concepts as well as evaluate and weight academic differences of opinion and interpretation, .
2 Undertake research, and critically analyse these sources in the context of existing historiography and second sources relevant to the subject.
3 Work independently. Students will engage in independent work, and will practice and improve their skills in time management, historical research, organisation and analysis of material, and essay-writing.
4 Communicate complex concepts effectively through written work, further developing the skills gained across their programme of study.
5 Demonstrate communication skills and skills with IT.
6 Present complex information creatively and accessibly.
7 Develop their ability to identify and solve problems.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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