Directed Reading in Historical Research

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Module code


Students will work with the appointed supervisor to develop a detailed reading programme related to their research. They will follow a programme of directed readings in the relevant historiography, with small group, often one-on-one, meetings enabling discussion and in depth analysis of that historiography.  The exact nature of these readings will, of course, depend entirely on the topic of the dissertation, and therefore cannot be specified generically. 


This module is assessed as follows:

  • Extended essay - 4,000 words (65%)
  • Literature review - 1,500 words (35%)

Intended learning outcomes

Discipline-specific skills

  • The ability to evaluate and understand the major relevant historiographies.
  • The ability to discuss and evaluate the significance the historical context of the chosen research topic.
  • The potential for continued study at doctoral level.

 Subject-specific practical and intellectual skills and attributes

  • The ability to demonstrate an appropriate level of skill in research, analysis, synthesis, conceptual thinking, cogency of argument and clarity of written expression.
  • The ability to undertake sustained individual study

Key skills

  • Development of  an independent, organised approach to learning, and thereby practise time management skills through working to deadlines
  • Development of communication and presentational skills.


To provide an advanced understanding of the historiography relating to the chosen research topic, so that topic can be located in the broad context of existing historical debates.


Dr Matthew Ward


Students will be allocated a supervisor with relevant expertise with whom they will devise their reading programme.  Supervisors will hold regular face-to-face meetings with the student in which they will guide the students through the readings and discuss the relevant historiography. Students will exchange their ideas and understandings with other students and the tutor in sessions of intense scholarly focus.