HS1APH-Approaches to History

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Jeremy Burchardt

Email: j.burchardt@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module is optional

This module aims to familiarise students with the issues and techniques involved in a critical appraisal of sources. Additionally, the study of individual texts will serve as an introduction to a broader historical period or problem.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
-identify and assess the major historical interpretations of the texts
-locate and synthesise information on the texts and the issues raised by them
-situate the texts within the wider context of the topic to which they relate and evaluate their particular significance
-organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays
-demonstrate familiarity with bibliographical conventions and mastery of library skills.

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims:

  • to encourage the development of oral communication skills
  • to develop the effectiveness of students in group situations
  • to assist students to think quickly on their feet
  • to develop IT skills through the use of relevant resources.

Outline content:
This module is designed to acquaint students with the problems and issues associated with the handling of historical source material. From a list of around 14 texts the students will take one for detailed study in the Autumn Term and another in the Spring Term. Most of the texts on offer will be written sources, but the range might sometimes include visual and other material, for example paintings, drawings, film and song. Detailed consideration will be given to the authorship of the text, its intended audience, if any, and the purpose for which it was created. It will be situated within the context both of other source material bearing upon the topic and of historical writing more generally. Consideration will be given to the way in which perceptions of the topic to which the text relates have been shaped by the nature and availability of the surviving source material.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

One seminar per week of one and a half hours requiring preparatory reading and research; structured group discussion; presentation of seminar papers; team-based exercises. Students are expected to carry out self-directed revision in the Summer term guided by the seen paper issued at the beginning of that term. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary, and students are reminded to email their Approaches seminar tutor for help and assistance when needed.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 15 15
Tutorials 1 1
Project Supervision 1 1
Guided independent study 83 83
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
50% (Two essays of c. 1500-2000 words each, one in the tenth week of each term, to be submitted on Blackboard and as a Hard Copy to the History Office, by latest 12 noon on the Monday of each term).

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    50% (One 2-hour seen paper requiring 2 answers - to be issued in advance in Week One of Summer term).

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) only in August. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Any element which is re-sat in August is capped at 40%. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon on the last Friday in August.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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