HIH1400 - Making History

2022/3 Module description

Staff - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module description

This module will provide you, for whom History is a principal part of your degree programme, with some of the essential practical and intellectual tools for the study of the subject. Rather than asking 'What is History?' in the abstract, the module will introduce you to the working practices and concepts expected of a history student in all aspects of their degree work. 

Module aims

This module will provide you with the essential tools for studying the past. The module has two parts, each of which has a distinct aim:

  • Part one will introduce you to the essential practical tools that every historian requires. Lectures will introduce the idea of historiography, before exploring and explaining a range of research, writing and referencing skills. In seminars, you will apply this knowledge, for example by constructing bibliographies, or assessing and taking notes on books and articles.
  • Part two will introduce you to the essential intellectual tools that every historian needs to be aware of. Lectures will provide an introduction to key types of history (political, social, cultural, postmodern, global and digital). Seminars will be based around the discussion of ‘case studies’ of each type of history.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Present work in the format expected of historians, with accurate footnoting and bibliographic references
  • 2. Recognise the variety of approaches taken to historical study
  • 3. Recognise how quantitative data can be used in historical study
  • 4. Know at a basic level some of the philosophical problems confronting historians i.e. the difficulties of total objectivity, the value of debate

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Develop knowledge of the use of a library to find information
  • 6. Comprehend how to undertake the accurate referencing of sources in written work
  • 7. Draw thematic comparisons between material from different sources
  • 8. Describe approaches to research, including the difference between qualitative and quantitative data

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. Demonstrate critical skills and communications skills (written and oral)
  • 10. Work both independently and in a group, to compile, present and discuss material
  • 11. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument developed through the mode of assessment

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:


  • (for skills) historiography;
  • finding books, journals and online materials;
  • critical reading skills, writing history;
  • (for historiography) political, social, cultural, postmodern, global and digital history.

Seminars will be focused on developing particular skills such as:

  • referencing;
  • formatting;
  • constructing bibliographies;
  • critical reading and writing skills;
  • introducing key themes: historiography, political, social, cultural and postmodern history.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1111 x 1 hour lectures providing an introduction to historical research, research skills, and historiography
Scheduled Learning and Teaching147 x 2-hour seminars will ask you to apply your skills, and will also introduce you to key ‘types’ of history via a series of case studies.
Guided independent study125Preparation for seminars and assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar discussionOngoing through module2-4,6-9Oral or written
Bibliography2 pages1, 5-6, 11Oral and/or written
Critical reading assignment1 paragraph2-4, 7-11Oral or written in seminar
Essay Plan1 page2-5, 7-11Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1001500 words1-11Oral and written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay 1500 words1-11Referral/deferral period.

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic Reading:

  • Claus, Peter, and John Marriott, History: An Introduction to Theory, Method and Practice (Harlow: Pearson Education, 2012).
  • Jordanova, Ludmilla, History in Practice, 2nd ed. (London: Hodder Arnold, 2006).
  • Rublack, Ulinka, ed., A Concise Companion to History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).
  • Tosh, John, The Pursuit of History: Aims, Methods and New Directions of Modern History (Harlow: Pearson Education, 2006).

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Historiography, Skills, Research, Approaches, Concepts

Important please note

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the module descriptors for the Online Module Selection process, please be aware that on rare occasions it may be necessary to remove proposed modules for reasons beyond our control. In addition, there are still some new modules going through the accreditation process. These will be offered in due course by the relevant discipline.

All modules displayed below have been approved by the approval process but may require further minor amendments before the commencement of teaching.

We are committed to providing an outstanding education and high quality teaching. You can find out details of your modules and any potential changes on these pages. If you are a returning student, joining after the first year or a postgraduate student details of your module changes will be provided in August. 

Foreign Language Centre modules

Term 1 module codes listed above ending with C, i.e. FLF1115C, are only available to outbound students who are away in Term 2. Students studying all year must select the standard module across both Term 1 and 2.