EHMD-Dissertation

Module Provider: Centre for Economic History
Number of credits: 120 [60 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Antony Moore

Email: t.moore@icmacentre.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Aims:
This module allows students to enhance and utilise the knowledge, understanding and skills developed across the whole of the programme by working on a topic which reflects their own enthusiasms and research interests. It enables them to work in close cooperation with an academic specialist, and to draw on other experts’ opinion as necessary. It aims to offer the opportunity to sample at first hand the experience of the economic historian, and to produce a piece of work, based upon primary sources, which makes an original contribution to our understanding of economies in the past.

Assessable learning outcomes:
The student will be expected to be able to:
•Discuss critically the range of primary and secondary sources available with regard to their chosen area of specialism
•Assess and apply relevant research methodologies and techniques from history and economics with respect to their chosen area of specialism
•Situate their own research work within the wider context of the subject’s historiography and the current state of scholarship
•Identify and utilize appropriate bibliographical, archival and other sources of relevant information, using information technology as appropriate
•Summarize, document, report and reflect on progress
•Collate, process and evaluate substantial amounts of relevant data, using information technology as appropriate
•Apply appropriate methodologies from economics and statistics to historical sources
•Demonstrate original, independent and critical thinking
•Devise and manage a research project
•Communicate their arguments effectively on paper and orally, supporting them with an appropriate scholarly apparatus

Additional outcomes:
•The module will develop oral skills through participation in seminars and a presentation about the student’s progress on their research topic.
•The module will support progress in the dissertation through the writing of a progress report including the identification of primary source data and the location of the research question within the current historiography. This will also address any methodological issues arising from the research topic.

Outline content:
The module deals with the range and nature of the source materials potentially available for the study of economic history over the longue durée and encourages students to think critically about their use. It covers issues connected to the choice and refinement of a research project, and the different methodologies which may be deployed together with an assessment of their respective value. Practical skills required for the location of bibliographical and historical material, including the use of electronic means of bibliographic searching and information retrieval and storage are included, together with training in the use of local and national archives and libraries. Once data has been identified from the primary sources, the student will utilise relevant techniques from econometrics and statistics to complement a historical interpretation of the material. The module also deals with communication skills, including those required to construct a clear and properly referenced written text, as well as oral skills and those needed to communicate graphically, for example through the use of Powerpoint presentations.
Since the dissertation is intended to be an individual and self-selected research effort, the student will be expected to keep the specialist research supervisor and the Programme Director up-to-date with their progress, before writing the substantive final dissertation.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Students should identify a potential research topic by the end of Autumn term. They will be allocated a supervisor by the start of Spring Term after discussion about the research topic with the MA Director. The student and supervisor will agree a forward plan of action to cover the rest of the academic year. Meetings are arranged ad personam, and monitored by the MA Director. In addition, supervisors will offer comments and help via email. They will also give advice and criticism as necessary on ‘work-in-progress’ reports, drafts of chapters and upon drafts of the completed work before submission. They will also advise and provide feedback on the detailed project outline to be submitted at the start of Summer Term.
In the Summer Term, students will deliver an oral presentation on the subject of their research in front of members of staff and postgraduate students.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 2 5 10
Guided independent study 48 245 890
       
Total hours by term 50.00 250.00 900.00
       
Total hours for module 1200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Other information on summative assessment:
Dissertation of 25,000 words (including endnotes/footnotes but excluding bibliography), to be submitted by 20th September.

Formative assessment methods:
A detailed project outline of ca. 2,500 words, with a bibliography of primary and secondary material to be submitted at the beginning of the summer term.

Oral presentation in Summer Term.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
N/A

Requirements for a pass:
50%

Reassessment arrangements:
Standard University Penalties apply.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 6 April 2017

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