Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)


Department: History


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • A pass mark in at least ONE level two module in History.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • HIST3192.


  • To allow students to pursue their own historical interests, to work independently in some depth, and to develop more advanced techniques of research, analysis and exposition.


  • (i) Identifying a broad subject area for research, and narrowing it down to a worthwhile and manageable topic, in discussion with a supervisor, who will approve it on behalf of the Board of Studies and of Examiners, which will be informed of the topics being pursued.
  • (ii) Constructing a bibliography, in discussion with a supervisor.
  • (iii) Writing and presenting a synopsis for discussion with a supervisor justifying the choice of topic, arguing for its interest and importance, and explaining the planned programme of work.
  • (iv) Conducting the research, developing and refining arguments, and if need be amending the topic, in discussion with a supervisor.
  • (v) Writing up the research, with the opportunity to present a draft chapter for close critical scrutiny by a supervisor, who will pay special attention to matters of presentation and, if need be, offer guidance to supplement that which is contained in the Department's Dissertations Handbook.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will gain the ability to discover, assess and use historical materials, the facility to write at length relevantly and coherently within the required word limit, and the skill of employing appropriate scholarly apparatus.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Subject specific skills for this module can be viewed at: http://www.dur.ac.uk/History/ugrads/ModuleProformaMap/
Key Skills:
  • Key skills for this module can be viewed at: http://www.dur.ac.uk/History/ugrads/ModuleProformaMap/

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Dissertation and extended essay assignments enable the student to demonstrate research and methodological skills appropriate to the specific knowledge and methodologies associated with the study of history. The dissertation or extended essay assesses students' ability to formulate a research problem and conduct research, reflection and writing to an agreed timetable. Students will need to study a wide range of resources and will need to deploy a range of analytical and reflective practices in the achievement of the stated goals.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Supervision Sessions 3
Preparation and Reading 197
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Literature-based dissertation Max 8000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Synopsis of c.1000 words; preparation for meetings with supervisor; draft chapter.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University