Historical Methods (20 credits)
This module, which runs throughout the autumn semester, is your chance to meet students from across the range of masters programmes offered within the department, from ancient and medieval through to modern and contemporary history. Together, you will consider the key approaches, theories and concepts that have shaped historical practice since the Second World War. These include developments such as the Annales School, historians’ response to Marxism and to anthropological theory, cultural history, the linguistic turn, gender and critical social theory. The focus is on the application of ideas to historical practice. You will investigate how early modernists have adapted these theories and methods to their particular field of study.
Assessment: Written coursework
Writing Early Modern History: Sources and Approaches (20 credits)
In the second semester, this module introduces in more detail the hands-on study of early modern history by interrogating a range of important sources, from ecclesiastical documents and court records, state papers, printed books, diaries and letters to maps, music, visual and material culture and digital humanities. These sessions will familiarise you with important practical and methodological issues, as well as giving a sense of how these kinds of material have been used by historians to enhance our understanding of the past.
Research Preparation (20 credits)
This module, which consists of a number of different elements, runs throughout the academic year, and provides important training and support as you develop your research skills, and devise your own unique thesis topic. In the autumn you will receive intensive training in palaeography (reading old handwriting), and in the spring your supervisor will help prepare you to give an oral presentation on your thesis topic, alongside an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources, and an outline thesis plan.
Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.