Writing History

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Module code


  • Level 4
  • Semester 2
  • 24 places
  • History/Creative Writing - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%

"Writing is lonely. It's an intimate talk with the dead, with the unborn, with the absent, with strangers..." (Rebecca Solnit)

This module aims to introduce you to you with a range of history writing (for example, broadcast material, historical fiction, popular personal history and other to practice-based research writing) to help you develop the necessary skills to write critically and creatively about archival investigation and research to understand both writing about history and writing from history. You will generate a both a historical and a creative project based from material in the University Archives, and will engage with practice research through process of reflective and creative essays about the investigative process.


The indicative content of the weekly seminars is as follows

  • Introduction to History Writing: Archival encounters
  • Researching the writing project
  • Archival stories
  • Fictional(ised) histories
  • Writing and presenting public history
  • Writing your history project
  • Writing Archival encounters creatively
  • Presenting your project (1)
  • Presenting your project (2)
  • Writing History, making impact


  • A formative seminar presentation of 10-15 minutes
  • A 1,500-word creative essay on practice researching in the archive (25%)
  • A creative writing folio of 2,000 words developed from the student’s own interest in consultation with the tutor (25%)
  • A 3,500-word history essay (50%)

Module Aims

  • To introduce students to the theory and practice of various kinds of contemporary writing about history, to widen their understanding of contemporary writing and place history writing within a public context
  • To undertake an archival research project based from material in the University Archives
  • To engage with practice research through reflective and creative essays about the investigative process
  • To introduce students to new critical and creative approaches to writing about history
  • To acquaint students with a range of history writing – from broadcasted material to historical fiction to popular personal history to practice-based research writing
  • To help students develop the necessary skills to write critically and creatively about and in the historical period they want to focus on