MLitt History Dissertation

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Module code


The 18,000 word dissertation will be submitted at the end of the course.  The dissertation will be presented in writing in conformity with established referencing and bibliographic conventions.


The intended learning outcomes of the module are assessed entirely by coursework comprising a 18,000 word dissertation.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

  • To secure a detailed knowledge of a topic within the scope of the historical period/area specified for this degree.
  • To locate that research within an understanding of the current historiographical debates and innovations in the relevant literature. 


  • The ability to write effectively and critically.
  • The ability to synthesise information from a range of sources and make clear the derivation of ideas and information by proper methods of attribution.
  • The ability to deploy appropriate conceptual frameworks in understanding empirical material.
  • The ability to think and argue logically and persuasively.
  • To challenge accepted historical knowledge.
  • To identify and retrieve information from a wide variety of sources.
  • To construct a reasoned defence of an interpretation of an event or aspect of society in the past.

 Other Attributes

  • To formulate and ask good questions.
  • To gain the confidence to challenge the historiography, historians and the tutor.
  • To gain confidence as a historian.
  • To adopt, empathise, and argue in support of positions/arguments you do not hold.


The student should demonstrate an advanced understanding of at least some of the research methods, skills and theories that have been acquired from participation in the preceding methods, skills and theory modules. Students should apply these to their chosen area of research, normally making use of primary materials in constructing an original piece of work, demonstrating the ability to work independently under supervision.


Dr Matthew Ward


Teaching is entirely by independent study. Students will be allocated a supervisor with relevant expertise, with whom they will have usually already undertaken module HY52025.  Supervisors will hold regular meetings with the student and will be available for consultation.