History modules - Second year

Topics in History

  • 20 credits

This module is taken by all single- and joint-honours History students. It develops students’ ability to design and deliver a historical research project, both individually and as part of a group. It achieves this through a combination of general skills lectures, specialist seminar workshops, and independent study meetings. Alongside a programme of weekly lectures in historical research design and delivery skills, students choose one from a number of specialist options related closely to the research interests of the academic staff teaching on the module in a given year. Through fortnightly staff-led seminar workshops, students work in small groups to devise and investigate a tailored research project relating to the broader specialist topic area, through detailed engagement with secondary literature and primary sources. In addition students meet weekly without academic supervision, to develop their projects.

Topics in History example modules: 

  • Kings and Propaganda: Power in the Islamic World
  • The Early Modern Witch Craze
  • Wheels of Fortune: The Bicycle, 1885-1920
  • Women and the English Revolution
  • Worlds of the Founders: Revolutionary America, 1750-1826
  • The British Infantry Officer on the Western Front 1914-18
  • While the Worst are full of Passionate Intensity: Fascism and Communism in Interwar Britain 
  • Atlantic Coastlines in British and Irish History
  • The American Occupation of Germany, 1944-1949
  • The Desert War in North Africa 1940-1943
  • From Robin Hood to Game of Thrones, Medievalism in the Popular Culture of TV and Cinema
  • Britain and Drugs in the era of total war
  • Lost in the Arctic: the English Search for a Northwest Passage 
  • Failed Colonies 
  • Conversion and Mission in Early Medieval Europe  

Sources in History

  • 20 credits

Students taking this module choose one option from a range. Options might include Personal documents, Official records, Possessions, Testimonies, News, Money, Memorials, Protest documents, Texts and tales.

In your chosen option you get to examine primary sources across a broad chronological and geographical range. You will be introduced to a range of textual, visual and material sources as appropriate. Most options are team-taught bringing together staff as specialists in the methodologies associated with this category of source for different periods and places. The exact periods and places covered will depend on staff availability in a given year, but seminars will engage with the possibilities and limitations of your source type in the practice of history including a range of historical approaches. Seminars will provide training in the critical analysis of the source type, including attentiveness to changes in form according to time and place. You will be encouraged to think about how analysis of such sources can inform the process of historical research. 

History Optional Modules

  • 20 credits

History Optional example modules may include:

  • Society in the Viking World c.800-c.1100
  • Radical Pieties: Militants, Martyrs and Mystics in Medieval Christianity and Islam
  • Tudor Terrors: inner worlds, hidden worlds, new worlds
  • State and Empire in the Early Modern World, 1400-1800
  • In search of Wealth and Power: China since 1800
  • Mass Culture and the Modern United States, 1877-1939
  • Feminisms and the women’s movement in modern Britain: From suffragists to ladettes
  • The Global Cold War  
  • Confronting Colonialism: Histories of Empire in India and Ireland
  • In the Eye of the Storm: Europe & the Second World War, 1930-1960
  • American Empire: The United States and the World
  • Pandora's Box: Europe and the First World War, 1900-1930
  • ‘There is Black in the Union Jack’: An Introduction to Black and South Asian British History
  • Revolution, Nation and the Global South  

History in Theory and Practice

  • 20 credits

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.

Professional Skills Module 

This is a work placement module involving a minimum of 10 days in a work environment in the type of organisation or business sector to which students might apply following successful completion of their undergraduate programme. The module will provide students with an opportunity to develop transferable skills, including team working, problem solving and communication skills, as well as allowing the development of the ability to self-reflect on activity undertaken.

Future Skills Modules

Please note these are examples of Futures Skills Modules that might be on offer:

Media in Practice

 This module gives you the chance to produce your own original content, learn skills and techniques that will improve what you create, and think rigorously about how media shapes our world. With lectures from a range of academic disciplines, the module asks big questions, like “How does news consumption affect voting behaviour?” and shares practical know-how, like how to conduct an interview or put in a Freedom of Information request. Through peer workshops, guided by academic leads, it also helps you to develop your own ideas and projects, from the first spark to the finished article. This module is designed to open media to all, so no prior experience is necessary.

 Sustainable development Climate, Culture, Society and Policy

 This is an interdisciplinary module that allows you to examine sustainability through the lens of several disciplines that fall broadly within arts, humanities and law. Examples of the topics you will examine are: sustainability and interdisciplinary research; the concept of sustainable development; climate change; sustainability and environmental justice. In examining these topics, students will also look into particular polices/initiatives to understand how sustainability is implemented in practice. The module will be delivered by academics from different disciplines which will allow you to engage in an interdisciplinary discussion with some of the mentioned topics. You will also have an opportunity to learn about sustainability initiatives at the UoB campus.