Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module HIST44515: Methodology and Criticism

Department: History

HIST44515: Methodology and Criticism

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2019/20 Module Cap None.


  • none


  • none

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • This module is not available to ESRC funded students.


  • To enable students to gain an in-depth and guided knowledge of approaches to methodological criticism, pertinent to skills training. As a 15 credit module, Methodology and Criticism enables compatibility with the MA in Research Methods (Social and Economic History), and allows an historical as well as methodological focus.


  • This module allows students to explore in more detail methodological approaches to the discipline of history and its related subjects. The module incorporates independent learning in a supportive and guided environment. The student selects, with guidance from the module leader, a source which exemplifies a particular methodological approach and engages with this critically. Meetings between student and module leader are individual and allow for oral discussion and development of the student’s critical framework.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Advanced understanding of methodological approaches to the chosen subject.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Critical assessment of methodological argument.
  • Subject specific skills for this module can be viewed at: http://www.dur.ac.uk/history.internal/local/PGModuleProformaMap/
Key Skills:
  • Key skills for this module can be viewed at: http://www.dur.ac.uk/history.internal/local/PGModuleProformaMap/

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

  • Student learning is facilitated by a range of teaching methods. Structured reading and looking require students to focus on material that is integral to the themes and approaches of the module. These specifically enable the acquisition of detailed knowledge and skills, which will be discussed in other areas of teaching and learning experience. Assessment is by means of a 2500 word essay, which requires the acquisition and application of advanced knowledge and understanding of an aspect of the module. Essays require a sustained and coherent argument in defence of a hypothesis, and must be presented in a clearly written and structured form, with supporting visual materials as part of their apparatus.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 4 Term 1 and Term 2 1 hour 4
Structure reading and essay preparation 146

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2500 100%

Formative Assessment:

One or more short assignments discussed.

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