HIH2001 - Doing History: Perspectives on Sources

2022/3 Module description

StaffDr Jennifer Farrell - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Pre-requisitesHIH1400 Making History
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module description

This module will enable you to develop independent learning skills, understanding of the value and use of primary sources in history, knowledge of historiography, and critical and presentational skills. It is a progression from the level 1 core modules in History, and Sources and Skills. It will also help to prepare you for the Dissertation in your final year.

The module is compulsory for Single Honours History students. It is optional for Combined Honours History students, but a prerequisite for students wishing to undertake a Dissertation in History at level 3. The module is also available to students on other programmes as an option module.

Module aims

This module builds on work done at level 1 in the core modules in History, and in Sources and Skills modules. It is a guided independent study module, which aims to develop your independent learning, understanding of the value and use of primary sources in history, knowledge of historiography, and critical and presentational skills. It also serves as part of the preparation for the final element of independent study in history programmes at level 3 in the form of the Dissertation. 

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Evaluate changes in historiography and to identify significant historical debates
  • 2. Identify an important topic of historical study and formulate a research question
  • 3. Identify and access a range of suitable primary sources
  • 4. Critically analyse primary sources

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Assess the work of scholars and handle different approaches in areas of controversy
  • 6. Collate and critique data from a range of sources
  • 7. Understand and deploy historical terminology in a comprehensible manner

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Conduct independent study and work
  • 9. Digest, select and organise varied primary and secondary material
  • 10. Produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument and analysis, 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:

  • Historiography and Methodology Essay
  • Source Essay

In the module, you must first identify a specific topic of historical study. You will then complete two assessments on your chosen topic. The first is a historiographical and methodological essay, which explores how historians have approached this topic before, the key approaches and debates in the historiography, and the range of sources and methodological approaches available. The second is a source essay, in which you must analyse a minimum of 3 different types of primary source related to your topic.

You will receive general guidance about the module from the module co-ordinator and will be allocated in small groups to individual supervisors according to their broad areas of historical interest. Work for the module will be supervised on a group and individual basis as appropriate, including two formal meetings to discuss your topic ideas and how to write the two assessments. A series of lectures will introduce you to the basics of the module requirements, and research and analysis skills. There will also be a workshop in Term 3 between you and your supervisor to reflect critically on the module assessments and discuss how lessons learned can be applied to your third year dissertations. 

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 teaching18Lectures and workshops (11 x 1 hour)
Scheduled learning and teaching2Maximum individual consultation time with supervisor
Guided independent study280Independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Project proposal 100 words2Written and oral comments

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
Historiography and Methodology Essay402000 words1-3,5-10Written and oral comments
Source Essay603000 words2-4, 6-10Written and oral comments

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Historiography and Methodology EssayHistoriography and Methodology Essay1-3,5-10Referral/deferral period
Source EssaySource Essay2-4,6-10Referral/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

As appropriate to the topic chosen.

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

Sources; Portfolio; Doing History

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.