HUC1004 - Research Skills: From the Archive to Digital Humanities

2020/1 Module description

StaffDr James Kelly - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module description

The module is designed to introduce you to the skills necessary for research in the Humanities. You will be asked to consider what Humanities research looks like and what skills are necessary. Lectures on skills and concepts will run alongside practical workshops with a research-active member of staff who will speak about their own approaches to formulating and working on research projects. Library and online resources will be looked at, with sessions on both physical archives housed on the Penryn Campus and the wide range of databases available via the Electronic Library. Workshops will involve practical tasks as well as discussions based on topics relevant to research in the Humanities. By the end of the module you will be able to produce a research project proposal, which you can choose to pursue or amend in subsequent years of your degree.

Module aims

This module will aim to introduce you to a wide range of research skills in Humanities academic research. The module will introduce you to the full range of archival, material, and electronic resources available to undergraduates. It will involve practical skills acquisition as well as theoretical thinking behind archival work and new emerging forms of study in the digital humanities.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Discuss how to research topics using a variety of material and online resources
  • 2. Describe how research skills are central to Humanities scholarship

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Demonstrate excellent communication skills both in written and oral work
  • 4. Demonstrate evidence of independent research skills relating to the Humanities

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Through workshop work, demonstrate communication skills, and work both individually and in groups
  • 6. Through written work, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, a capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose

Syllabus plan

Topics covered might include but not be limited to:

  • Understanding research at third level
  • Academic honesty and quoting, paraphrasing secondary sources
  • Developing undergraduate research proposals
  • Introduction to the library and physical archives
  • Primary and secondary sources: Developing a source portfolio and literature review
  • Navigating the Electronic Library and internet resources

Workshops will branch out from the lecture and involve both practical and abstract discussions about research skills with a research active member of staff. Workshops will also help you towards the forms of assessment required by the module. One workshop will take place in the library and involve co-teaching with library and archive staff. 

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 Teaching5Lectures – large group teaching introducing a topic (5 x 1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching18Workshops – small group teaching focusing on specific critical and/or practical skills (9 x 2 hours)
Guided Independent Study127Preparation for workshops and assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group source presentation15 minutes1, 3-5Oral

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
Annotated bibliography or Source portfolio30500 words1-6Written and oral
Research project proposal601000 words1-6Written and oral
Participation10Continuous1,3-5Oral feedback with opportunity for office hours follow-up

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Annotated bibliography or Source portfolioAnnotated bibliography or Source portfolio1-6Referral/deferral period
Research project proposalResearch project proposal1-6Referral/deferral period
ParticipationRepeat study or mitigation1,3-5N/a

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 redo the assessment(s) as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • The following texts are available as e-texts from the Library and should be consulted during the module:
    • Armstrong, Catherine. Using non-textual sources: a historian's guide. Bloomsbury, 2016.
    • Booth, Wayne, Gregory C. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research, U of Chicago, 2008.
    • McMillan, Kathleen & Jonathan Weyers. How to research & write a successful PhD. Pearson, 2013.
    • Ó Dochartaigh, Niall. Internet Research Skills. Sage, 2007

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

Research, library skills, archives, digital humanities, humanities

Important please note

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Foreign Language Centre modules 2020/21

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.