History undergraduate modules

Listed on this page are all the modules offered by the Department of History at undergraduate level.

Please note: due to study leave etc not every module is available every year. Please check with the Department to see what is running in a given year

First year

Practising History (A & B)

 

Practising History (A): Skills in History (Autumn semester)
Practising History (B): Approaches to History (Spring semester)

The main aim of this module is to give students a firm grounding in the skills, methods and principles needed for the study of the historical discipline at degree level.

Semester one, Practising History A: Skills in History will offer students the chance to develop their own personal research skills portfolio by giving them supervised practice at note-taking, referencing, group-work, participation in class debate, research and production of a extensive bibliography for their seminar group’s research project. Much of this material will be accessed through a VLE, and the fact that the students will have to collaborate and make research decisions for themselves as a group makes this a valuable introduction to enquiry-based learning techniques they will meet elsewhere in their degree programmes.

Semester two, Practising History B: Approaches to History focuses more on the methodological side of the historical discipline, with lectures on the major schools of historical thought backed up by seminars in which students can see how these schools are represented in their group’s particular project.

Value: 2x 10 credits
Assessment: 2 x 2500 word essay (1 per semester)
Contact: 1 hour per week (mainly small group)

Ancient and Medieval History in Theory and Practice

This module addresses questions to do with the nature of history and historical knowledge, particularly as they relate to the ancient and medieval worlds. Topics covered include issues in the philosophy of history (explanation, causality, objectivity etc.); the characteristics of different kinds of history and major trends in historiography. This is not a standard history module with a definite period/place focus, but a broader reflective module designed to aid independent thinking and reflection by students.

Discovering the Middle Ages

This module aims to introduce students to a broad range of topics from the earlier part of the Middle Ages understood as part of global history, with a focus on staff areas of particular expertise in political, social-economic, religious, cultural history and material culture. The module will include introductions to topics taught as modules in Year 2 and 3, each framed as a question about some person or concept with which students may be familiar. Students will examine these topics through lectures and analysis of relevant primary and secondary source material, including material culture, online resources and accessible locations, to gain first-hand experience of some of the issues involved in the scholarly study of this period.

Value: 20 credits

The Making of the Modern World 1500-1815

This module aims to introduce students to all aspects of the early-modern world, including its social, economic, military, political, intellectual, religious and cultural history. The module will cover of the period from around 1500 with the discoveries of the new world and invention of printing, up to the late eighteenth century with the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Though the focus will be primarily European (including the British Isles), the wider world will also be explored (eg interaction with the New World; American Revolution). Students will examine the above developments through analysis of a broad range of relevant primary and secondary sources; material such as contemporary letters, diaries, treatises, woodcuts, music and material culture will be given particular emphasis as a means of giving students first-hand experience ofthe key issues involved in the scholarly study of the early-modern period.

Value: 20 credits
Assessment: 33% 2500 word essay; 67% 2 hr exam
Contact: 3 hours per week (inc. one small group)

Living in the Middle Ages

This module aims to introduce students to a broad range of topics from the later part of the Middle Ages understood as part of global history, with a focus on staff areas of particular expertise in social-economic, religious, cultural history and material culture. The module will include introductions to topics taught as modules in Year 2 and 3, each framed as a question about some person or concept with which students may be familiar. Students will examine these topics through lectures and analysis of relevant primary and secondary source material, including material culture, online resources and accessible locations, to gain first-hand experience of some of the issues involved in the scholarly study of this period.

Value: 20 credits

The Making of the Contemporary World 1815-2000 

This module aims to introduce students to all aspects of the late-modern world, including its social, economic, military, political, intellectual, religious and cultural history. The module will cover of the period from around 1800 with the onset of industrialisation up to the turn of the twenty-first century with the end of the Cold War and increasing concern with ‘globalisation’.

Though the focus will be weighted somewhat towards Europe (including the British Isles), the wider world will also be explored (eg empire, decolonisation, modern nationalism). Students will examine the above developments through analysis of a broad range of relevant primary and secondary sources; material such as contemporary treatises, state documents, art and material culture will be given particular emphasis as a means of giving students first-hand experience of the key issues involved in the scholarly study of the late-modern period.

Value: 20 credits
Assessment: 33% 2500 word essay; 67% 2 hr exam
Contact: 3 hours per week (inc. one small group)

The British Economy since 1850: theory, policy and global challenge

This module examines the principal debates in British economic history from the mid-Victorian period to the start of the 21st century. The major running themes are the changing structure of the domestic economy, the role of the state in economic development, the role of economic ideas and economic thery and Britain’s changing position in the world economy. Particular consideration is given to the growth record; the rise of the service sector; changing patterns of state expenditure the origins of the north-south divide; c.19thcentury classical economic throught, the Keynesian revolution and the monetarist counter-revolution; the rise and fall of sterling as a major international currency; the impact of war, depression and globalisation on Britain’s international trade and financial position; and Britain’s changing economic relationship with its Empire, with Europe and with the USA over the course of the twentieth century.

Value: 20 credits
Assessment: 60% 2 hour summer exam; one 40/50 minute class test (20%); one 1500 word essay (20%


Contact: 24 hours total

The Social History of Modern Britain

The period from the high water mark of Victorian stability in the last third of the nineteenth century up to the 1900s witnessed major changes in the character of British society. The dynamic of industrialisation and de-industrialisation shaped and re-shaped both social structure and social relations. Political relations changed under the pressure first for democracy and then for social rights. Social relations were tested and moulded by two World Wars, by economic prosperity and depression, by a new 'affluence' and by an evolving party politics.

It is this pattern of social change which forms the focus for this module. We begin by looking at the nature of British society in the 1870s, exploring issues associated with the rise of class and party, industrial change and social conflict, the problems of poverty and unemployment, the impact of war and of depression, the rise of the Welfare state and of 'affluence', and finishing with an examination of the changing politics and social order of the 1980s.

Teaching is by a mix of lectures and seminars. Students are guided to extend their understanding of topics introduced and developed in classes by reading widely within the secondary literature and by analysing documents which form part of the focus for seminar discussion.

Value: 20 credits
Assessment: 33% 2000 word essay; 67% 2 hour summer exam
Contact 1 hour small group or lecture per week

Themes and Areas 1

Students are offered the opportunity to study 20 credits outside their main discipline in the first year. We encourage you to use this opportunity to develop a language skill, or to broaden your access to modules within the University subject provision. The full list of modules available is too extensive to list here, but to give you a sense of the kinds of modules students take, below are some examples from the options which have been available in previous years.

  • Archaeology, Theory and Practice
  • Art and Contexts
  • British Central Government
  • Classical Political Thought
  • Contemporary Human Geography
  • Early Civilisation of America
  • Economy, Space and Policy
  • Environmental Economics
  • Foundations of Politics
  • European Economic Issues
  • Greece and Rome
  • Good Brain, Bad Brain (Pharmacology)
  • History of Birmingham
  • History of the Earth
  • History and Contemporary Images of 20th century Europe
  • Human Societies and Cultural Change
  • Impact of Mathematics
  • Individual and Society
  • International Economy
  • Introduction to Christian History
  • Introduction to Christian Theology
  • Introduction to Economics
  • Introduction to European Ethics
  • Introduction to European Political Philosophy
  • Introduction to Film Studies
  • Introduction to Gender Studies
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Introduction to Media, Culture and Society
  • Introduction to Multiculturalism
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Social Policy
  • Introduction to Study of the Holocaust
  • Introductory History to Scientific Ideas in Western Culture
  • Languages: e.g. French, German, Latin, Japanese, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
  • Nineteenth century Russia
  • Old English
  • Russian Politics
  • Society, Space and Policy
  • The Age of Common Practice (music)
  • The Age of Extremes (music)
  • The Emergence of Modern Germany: its History and Images
  • Weather, Climate and Human History

 

War, Armed Forces and Society 

The module will introduce students to the fundamental problems and concepts involved in the study of war. The module will trace the impact of war and of armies on states, societies and individuals from the Roman Empire until the present day. It will consider how war has influenced the development of the Roman, post-Roman, medieval, early modern and modern worlds and how war and armies have been influenced by broader social, economic, technological and political change

Value: 40 credits
Assessment: 4000 word essay and 3 hour summer exam
Contact: 2 hours per week

Second year

Foundations of Modern Britain

This module is an intermediate survey course that examines the foundations of modern British economic and social relations in the period from c1714-c1815, the period of the 'First Industrial Revolution'. It focuses upon the nature and impact of industrialisation and the responses to economic and social transformation. The module will introduce students to the key features and significance of industrialisation in Britain from the early eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries and to its impact upon social relations. The systematic use of primary historical sources within seminars will aid the development of skills in using such sources and assist students in successfully tackling historical problems at the level appropriate for dissertation preparation.

Teaching takes place via mix of lectures and seminars. Seminar discussion focuses on core debates and on specific examples of documentary evidence which illuminate the debate.

Value: 20 credits
Assessment: two essays, 1 x 1250 words, 1 x 3000 words
Contact: 2 hours per week

Group Research

This module provides students with an exciting opportunity to work in groups to design and execute a collaborative research project. The aim is for students to gain experience in the process of historical inquiry and develop their research skills in a supportive environment in advance of individual work for dissertations. Students also benefit greatly from the opportunity to work in teams and coordinate their own projects effectively. The summer term begins with a second year conference in which all groups present their findings to the rest of the year group and to staff. Students enthusiastically pursue a range of presentational methods and styles to convey their ideas and research. In many cases students choose to learn and utilise IT presentational packages to support their work. There is also a requirement for each student to submit an individual essay on their research. By the end of the module all students will have enhanced their presentational skills, their skills as historians, developed their interest in a particular field of history, and be able to demonstrate to future employers that they have experience of working collaboratively and making professionally acceptable oral presentations.

Students are permitted to choose a project from a wide range of choices. They work in teams of approximately 4-6 students under the supervision of a member of academic staff. The tutor helps the students to embark on the project by providing initial ideas and reading, but the students are then free to design their own projects according to the enthusiasms and capacities of the group. All groups make extensive use of primary source evidence as well as reviewing the secondary literature on their topic.

Group project themes offered in past years included:

  • Stop the War: Peace Movements in Britain from the Pro-Boers to the Coalition against a War on Terror
  • Saints and Sainthood
  • Christian Mission and Conversion in Early Medieval Europe
  • Deposing a Medieval King: The Case of Edward II of England (1307-1327)
  • Imagined Communities: Tudor History on
  • Film and TV
  • The Desert War in North Africa 1940-1942
  • Women and the English RevolutionFour Students in a Trench: Battlefield Archaeology
  • War and Politics in the early 18th Century: 1710-11 during the War of the Spanish Succession
  • Big City Street Life in Victorian England
  • God’s Chinese Son: the Taiping Rebellion 1850-1864
  • Art and Power
  • Children in 20th and 21st Century African Armed Conflicts
  • Student Activism in the 20th Century Burma
  • The British Infantry Officer on the Western Front 1914-1918

History in Theory and Practice

This module addresses questions to do with the nature of history and historical knowledge. Topics covered include issues in the philosophy of history (explanation, causality, objectivity etc.); the characteristics of different kinds of history and major trends in historiography. This is not a standard history module with a definite period/place focus, but a broader reflective module designed to aid independent thinking and reflection by students.

Value: 20 credits
Assessment: 2500 word essay; 2 hour exam 50% each
Contact: 2 hours per week (inc. one small group)

Introduction to Strategy and Operational Art

The module will begin by examining the work of leading theorists of war since the Renaissance.  This first part of the module will be divided into five sections: The Origins of Modern War (focusing on Machiavelli); The Expansion of War (focusing on Clausewitz); The Industrialisation of War (focusing on Marx and Engels and Moltke and Schlieffen); The Era of the Two World Wars (focusing on Liddell Hart and J.F.C. Fuller); and Strategy Since 1945 (focusing on nuclear strategy and people’s revolutionary warfare).  The second part of the module will examine the intermediate field of military knowledge situated between strategy and tactics and trace the evolution of operational awareness and its culmination in full-fledged theory. The following key landmarks in the evolution of operational theory and practice will be examined:

  • 19th Century Military Thought – the roots of operational art
  • The Emergence of the Blitzkrieg concept
  • The Evolution of Soviet Deep Battle Theory
  • Air-Land Battle Theory 1970s and 1980s

Specific campaign studies will include:

  • Operation Michael March 1918
  • The Fall of France 1940
  • Normandy 1944
  • Operation Bagration 1944
  • The Arab-Israeli War of 1973
  • Desert Storm 1991

Value: 20 credits
Assessment: 3 hour exam
Contact: 2 hours per week

The Rise of Modern War

This module will develop in more detail some of the themes begun in the Level 1 module, War, Armed Forces and Society.  The first part of the module begins with ‘The Condition of War on Land in the 17th Century’.  The second part deals with ‘War and Absolutism’. The main themes will be war in the colonies; European trading empires and India; Europe in Latin America and the Caribbean; ascendant forces of nationhood and the concept of a balance of power; war against the Turk, the Habsburg borders and Russian expansion.  The third part deals with ‘The Experience of War in the Age of Reason’, including the wars of the American and French Revolutions; the course will conclude with an assessment of the impact of ‘Warfare in the Age of Napoleon’.

Value: 20 credits
Assessment: 4000 word essay
Contact: 2 hours per week

Research Methods (Dissertation Preparation)

This module is designed to support students as they develop a topic on which to write their dissertation in your final year. It not only marks a crucial stage in their degree as a whole, but is also an important module in its own right. The Research Methods module will give students firsthand experience of the work of a historian as they learn to identify and frame a valid, intellectually coherent research question; identify, find and consider what primary sources they will use and how they will use them; consult with a specialist historian in whatever area it is they wish to work on; present their planned project to their peers; write a literature review that analyses what historians have made of the same subject, and start preliminary work on their dissertation proper by conducting two weeks’ worth of research.

 

Value: 20 credits
Assessment:

Contact: 2 hours per week (inc. one small group)

Options

Students are offered the opportunity to study 20 credits outside their main discipline in the first year. We encourage you to use this opportunity to develop a language skill, or to broaden your access to modules within the University subject provision. The full list of modules available is too extensive to list here, but to give you a sense of the kinds of modules students take, below are some examples from the options which have been available in previous years.

  • Speaking to the People: Political Communications in 20th Century Britain
  • Britain and the Second World War: A Military History
  • Globalisation and Social Movements since 1945
  • Childhood and Adolescence in Medieval Europe
  • The Great Powers and the Cold War in East Asia 1945-1991
  • The Reign of Henry VIII: Renaissance, Reform and the Early Modern State
  • Prophets, Rulers and Rebels of Early Islam
  • Social Activism in Contemporary Britain
  • Marriage, Sex and Death: the Western European Family c.300-900
  • Reformation and Rebellion in Tudor England
  • Women and Gender in Medieval Society
  • Blood and Steel: The Indigenous peoples and the Spanish conquest of the New World in the 16th Century
  • ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ in Tudor and Stuart England
  • Christianity and Politics in the Modern World
  • South Africa in the 20th Century
  • America in Conflict from the Civil War to the War on Terror
  • Middle Eastern Cities, 1820–1960: cosmopolitanism, empire, and nationalism
  • Russia in Revolution 1900-1938
  • The British Army c.1660-1960
  • Witchcraft, Magic and Power in Early Modern Europe
  • The Silk Roads
  • Command in War from Napoleon to the 21st Century
  • The Best Governed City in the World? Birmingham 1838-1914
  • Ottoman Warfare 1400-1800
  • Economic Policy and Performance in Interwar Britain
  • Crime and Punishment in the Medieval World
  • Hitler’s ‘Social Revolution’? : State, Structure and Social Change in Germany, 1919-1945
  • Crusading and Crusader Kingdoms
  • Russian Political and Intellectual Thought from 1850 to 1989
  • The Making of Modern South-East Asia 1860-1960

 

Value: 20 credits
Assessment: various 

Themes and Areas 2

 

A further 20 credits comprises study of a Theme and Areas 2 module which enables students to extend the range of their conceptual training and their discipline knowledge. The choice of this module is a free one outside of the History discipline, but students are particularly encouraged either to study a language module which enhances their opportunities to study documentary evidence in languages other than English, or to pursue a module from the wide range offered within the University. 

Value 20 credits

 

Third year

Option

The module will allow students to study a historical theme or area in depth, under the guidance of an individual member of staff drawing mostly on published sources.  Students will chose from a range of topics covering the medieval, early modern and late modern periods in Europe and beyond. The choice of topics will be wide and closely aligned to the research interests of individual members of staff.  The module will allow students to develop an appreciation of history as a chronologically and geographically and enhance their awareness of the texture and variety of an ever more complex discipline.  The modules chosen in recent years have been:-

  • Towards a Dead Planet? A History of Humans, Natural Resources, the Environment
  • Occupation and Counterinsurgency in the Modern Era
  • Genocide in World History
  • Russia in Revolution 1900-1938
  • Military Revolutions and the Conduct of War c.1300-1650
  • Marriage, Sex and Death: the Western European Family 400-1200
  • The Economics of War
  • Occupied Minds: Consent, Coercion and Criminality in Occupied Europe 1938-1955
  • The Silk Roads
  • Reason and Romance: the Cultural History of Nineteenth-Century Britain
  • The Viking World
  • ‘Hitler’s willing executioners’? National Socialism and German Society
  • Childhood and Adolescence in Medieval Europe
  • The United States and World War II
  • Crime and Public Order in Medieval Europe
  • Reform and Reaction in Russia: Peter III, Catherine the Great and Paul I (1762-1801)
  • The Black Death in Medieval Europe, Disaster, Change and Recovery
  • Speaking to the People: Political Communications in 20th Century Britain
  • Ottoman Warfare 1400-1800
  • Medieval Monasticism
  • The Origins of Enterprise: Making Money in Medieval Europe
  • Hidden from History: Homosexuality through History, from the Ancient World to the Present Day
  • The “Scum of the Earth”: Refugees and Statelessness in Comparative Perspective 1914-45
  • On the Road to Nowhere? Traffic, Transport and Mobility in 20th Century Britain
  • Command in War from Napoleon to the 21st Century
  • Economic Policy and Performance in Interwar Britain
  • Hitler’s ‘Social Revolution’?: State, Structure and Social Change in Germany, 1919-1945
  • Crusading and Crusader Kingdoms
  • Russian Political and Intellectual Thought from 1850 to 1989
  • Warfare at Sea from the Armada to Overlord
  • The United States and World War 2

 

Value: 20 credits

Special Subject

Special Subjects are designed to enable students to pursue a particular historical theme in great depth. The focus is on developing an advanced critical appreciation of relevant debates within the field as well as analysing contemporary documentary accounts. The analysis of primary source evidence provides further opportunities to enhance your critical skills as historians, but also helps you to see how historians deal with contested evidence and how these interpretations inform scholarly debate.

The teaching for a special subject takes place within a seminar setting in which students take a lead role in generating discussion, guided by a tutor and a comprehensive bibliography and study support material. Work for this module comprises one third of your final year work.

Examples of special subjects offered in recent years include:

  • The British Army and the Western Front 1914-1918
  • Village Life in Later Medieval England
  • National Socialism and German Society
  • Of Rice and Men:  NGOs and Humanitarianism since 1945
  • Mass Media and the Making of Modern Britain 1832-2013
  • The Viking Age and Later Medieval Iceland
  • The Age of Discovery
  • A History of the Tudors in 100 Objects
  • After the Armada: Politics, Religion and Society in Late Elizabethan England
  • Science, Religion and Empire: Britain and the Ancient Near East in the 19th Century
  • After Hitler: Politics and Society in West Germany during the Adenauer Era, 1945-1965
  • Dossers: a History of Homelessness in Modern Britain
  • The History of Grand Strategy
  • Holy Men, Holy War: the Cistercians and the Crusades
  • Activism, Affluence and Apathy: Citizenship, Politics and Democracy in Post-War Britain
  • Swords, Hoards and Overlords: Anglo-Saxon England in the Age of Bede
  • The Mongols and China
  • The Russian Revolution, 1917
  • Britain, the Slave Trade and Anti-Slavery
  • The Sharp End: The British Army and the Defeat of Napoleon
  • Marlborough’s War, England the War of the Spanish Succession, 1702-1713
  • Facing the Fuhrer and the Duce: British Foreign and Defence Policies towards the European Dictators 1935-40
  • The English Civil War and Local Society
  • The British Home Front in the Second World War
  • Poverty Amidst Prosperity: the Urban Poor and Poverty in England 1840-1914
  • Protestants, Papists and Puritans: Religious Change under Elizabeth I and James I
  • Big City, Small Worlds: The Making of Early Modern Cities
  • Rule and Rebellion: Politics and Power in the Carolingian Empire, c.800-c.850
  • The Pacific War 1831-1945
  • Where there is discord: Making Thatcher’s Britain
  • Law and Society in Medieval England
  • Histories of Hate: Fear and Loathing in Early Modern Europe
  • The Making and Remaking of English History 1066 to Present

Value: 20+20 credits
Assessment: 2 x 3 hour exams
Contact: 3 hours per week (all small group)

History Advanced Option - Autumn

The module will allow students to study a historical theme or area in depth, under the guidance of an individual member of staff drawing mainly on secondary sources (and primary where appropriate). Students will chose from a range of specialised historical topics dealing with a spectrum of geographical, chronological, and thematic issues. The exact list of topics available each year will vary, depending on staff availability and workload distributions, and will be subject to the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The choice of topics will be wide (10 or more), but for the most part closely aligned to the research interests of individual members of academic staff. In conjunction with other modules in the programme, the module will allow students to develop an appreciation of history as a chronologically and geographically varied subject and enhance their awareness of the texture and variety of an ever more complex discipline. The module will require students not only to analyse and explain the past, but also to engage in critical evaluation of key contemporary evidence and the relevant historiography.

Value: 20 credits
Assessment: two essays, 2500 words each
Contact: 3 hours per week (all small group)

History Advanced Option - Spring

The module will allow students to study a historical theme or area in depth, under the guidance of an individual member of staff drawing mainly on secondary sources (and primary where appropriate). Students will chose from a range of specialised historical topics dealing with a spectrum of geographical, chronological, and thematic issues. The exact list of topics available each year will vary, depending on staff availability and workload distributions, and will be subject to the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The choice of topics will be wide (10 or more), but for the most part closely aligned to the research interests of individual members of academic staff. In conjunction with other modules in the programme, the module will allow students to develop an appreciation of history as a chronologically and geographically varied subject and enhance their awareness of the texture and variety of an ever more complex discipline. The module will require students not only to analyse and explain the past, but also to engage in critical evaluation of key contemporary evidence and the relevant historiography.

Value: 20 credits
Assessment: One 3 hour exam
Contact: 3 hours per week (all small group)

Writing the History of Warfare

This module addresses general questions relating to the historiography of warfare and considers how the subject has evolved from ancient times to the present. The principal schools of military history are considered together with those individuals who have made a major contribution to the evolution of the discipline.This module is designed to be more general and reflective than other War Studies modules, to aid independent thinking and reflection by students on the subject they have studied for three years at university.

Value 20 credits
Assessment: 3000 word essay from takeaway exam
Contact: 1 hour per week

Economic and Social History Dissertation

This module develops from work undertaken in second year Research Methods. Students work to complete research undertaken and focus their energies on preparing drafts of chapters for their dissertations. Students undertake a wide range of research activities enabling them to engage directly with contemporary debates in economic and social history and examine and interpret diverse sources such as letters, diaries, newspapers, government, business, church and parish records, statistical sources and media representations of varying kinds etc...

Students studying this programme are required to prepare a 12,000 word dissertation within the broad field of Economic and Social History. Many students choose modern European economic and social history topics, but there is scope to study medieval economic and social history and to pursue other regions. Some students elect to research an area to which they have already been introduced via a taught module, others develop themes initiated in Group Research Projects, and some students seize the opportunity to pursue a research interest that they have been unable to develop elsewhere in the curriculum.

Some examples of topics recently researched by Economic and Social History students include:

  • The economic and social implications of the professionalisation of women's sport
  • The devaluation of sterling in 1949
  • Economic development and cultural conflict in post-colonial India
  • Women in the court of James I
  • Anglo-economic policy and the onset of cold war with Soviet Russia, 1944-50
  • Public attitudes to the Boer War: a critical evaluation with particular reference to Birmingham
  • The changing roles and perceptions of working class women in Manchester during the interwar period
  • An assessment of the motivation for education reforms during the last quarter of the nineteenth century
  • The genesis and impact of Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK
  • Britain and the Abyssinian crisis 1935-6
  • Back to home and duty': the backlash against women after the First World War
  • The contribution of the second Soho Mint to regional industrialisation
  • Family size and spacing in late Victorian rural Suffolk
  • Working class leisure and local politics in Birmingham during the Second World War
  • Agricultural depression in Northamptonshire, 1873-1896
  • The aims of late 19th C 'social purity' movements
  • Family planning in 1930s Birmingham
  • The pilgrimage of grace, 1536
  • The impact of the American Civil War on the Manchester textile industry
  • Jewish immigration to London at the turn of the twentieth century
  • British perceptions of Stalin's economic policies of collectivisation and industrialisation in the USSR, 1937-38
  • Being female in late twentieth century Afghanistan
  • The economic consequences of the 1970s oil crisis in the UK
  • Kindertransport: a study of the management, settlement and impact of Jewish child migration to Britain during the Second World War
  • Welfare policies and single-parent families in post-war Britain
  • Workhouse admissions in Warwickshire in the aftermath of the campaign against outdoor relief

Value: 40 credits
Assessment: 12000 word dissertation
Contact: one to one teaching

History/Political Science JH Dissertation

This module is a  sustained investigation of an historical problem on a subject relevant to the programme of study in the light of current knowledge and current interpretations. This may include the use of primary source material. The findings of this investigation are then presented in an extended form with full argumentation and scholarly apparatus, so that the identity and value of the sources on one hand and the quality and structure of the argument on the other can be clearly understood by the reader.

Value: 20 credits

History Dissertation

This module develops from work undertaken in second year Research Methods. Students work to complete research undertaken and focus their energies on preparing drafts of chapters for their dissertations. Students undertake a wide range of research activities enabling them to engage directly with contemporary debates in history and examine and interpret diverse sources such as letters, diaries, newspapers, government, business, church and parish records, statistical sources and media representations of varying kinds etc...

  • Students studying BA History are required to prepare a 12,000 word dissertation within the broad field of History and students choose to study diverse regions and periods. Some students elect to research an area to which they have already been introduced via a taught module, others develop themes initiated in Group Research Projects, and some students seize the opportunity to pursue a research interest that they have been unable to develop elsewhere in the curriculum.
  • Some examples of topics recently researched by students on this programme include:
  • Representations of Ireland and Irish communities in British media, 1960
  • Alehouses in early 17thC Society
  • Anglo-American relations and the Korean war
  • RAF Bomber command: the debate about targeting
  • The social context of sport in 20thC Northamptonshire
  • The experience of the British soldier in South Africa 1899-1902
  • Enoch Powell: the Northern Irish years
  • Attitudes of local Conservative associations to the Edwardian tariff reform debate
  • The impact of religious aspects of Charles I personal rule on Worcester
  • Exploring the BBC and its relationship with government, 1939-42
  • The Cecils and Elizabethan Court politics in the 1590s
  • The writings of Christopher Columbus
  • English anti-popery and responses to Catholic rebellion in Ireland, 1641.
  • Views of magic in post-reformation England
  • Infant mortality: trends and explanations, 1850-1914
  • The legitimacy of female monarchy in 16thC Britain
  • Anglo-American perceptions of the Soviet war effort, 1941-45
  • Defence preparations in Kent during the Napoleonic wars
  • English radical societies and the French revolution
  • British diplomacy in the American War of independence
  • Capital punishment in Britain after 1945
  • An assessment of the impact of America's musical revolution upon British music and society in the period 1955 to the Beatles
  • A contrast of working class and middle class women in the Suffragette movement
  • The administration of the poor law in Britain, with special reference to the position of women, 1870-1910
  • Conflict and cooperation in the peasant community of Wakefield
  • A comparison of the pipe rolls of the bishopric of Winchester, 1301-1409
  • Victorian sexual morality
  • Middle class spinster-hood in 19thC Britain
  • Economic forgery in medieval England
  • The incorporation of the medical profession into the NHS with particular reference to Birmingham
  • How was the devil represented through 16thC drama and literature?
  • Assisted passage to Australia in post-war Britain
  • Factional politics at the Court of Mary Queen of Scots
  • The road to Salvation: the spiritual journeys of Wesley's preachers
  • The campaign against outdoor relief and its impact on workhouse populations
  • American popular and commercial culture in interwar Britain

    Value: 40 credits
    Assessment: 100% 12000 word dissertation due in late spring
    Contact: total of up to 6 hours one-to-one supervision available

War Studies Dissertation

This module develops from work undertaken in Research Methods. Students work to complete research undertaken and focus their energies on preparing drafts of chapters for their dissertations. Students undertake a wide range of research activities enabling them to engage directly with contemporary debates in war studies and examine and interpret diverse sources such as letters, diaries, newspapers, government, business, army and statistical records and media representations of varying kinds etc...

Students taking War Studies are required to prepare a 12,000 word dissertation within the broad field of war. Some students elect to research an area to which they have already been introduced via a taught module, others develop themes initiated in Group Research Projects, and some students seize the opportunity to pursue a research interest that they have been unable to develop elsewhere in the curriculum.

 

Value: 40 credits 
Assessment: 100% 12000 word dissertation due in late spring
Contact: total of up to 6 hours one-to-one supervision available