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Postgraduate Diploma in Humanities - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

This taught postgraduate programme in humanities will:

  • provide you with appropriate training in the techniques of postgraduate study in the humanities
  • allow a degree of flexibility in some disciplines, so that you can combine modules from more than one subject specialism.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of the programme are described in four areas.

Knowledge and understanding

When you have completed this diploma you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • a range of research tools and methods appropriate to postgraduate study in the humanities
  • current issues and debates in one or more humanities subject area.

Cognitive skills

When you have completed this diploma you will be able to:

  • evaluate critically current research in one or more humanities area
  • evaluate and critique some of the methods used in humanities research
  • use concepts and theories appropriately
  • evaluate bodies of evidence and draw conclusions from them.

Practical and/or professional skills

When you have completed this diploma you will be able to:

  • use research libraries, their archives and their contents efficiently
  • use specialist online databases and other online facilities for postgraduate study
  • form arguments at postgraduate level and express those arguments in substantial pieces of writing using proper academic conventions
  • plan a project according to specific guidelines
  • work independently on a research project.

Key skills

When you have completed this diploma you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:


You will be able to:

  • communicate effectively in writing to a specialised audience
  • vary your means of communication according to the specialised task at hand
  • be aware of the tools which can help you in the task of effective communication.

Improving own learning and performance

You will be able to:

  • plan an essay at postgraduate level
  • design a research project with some support from the study materials and a tutor
  • use feedback from your tutor and fellow students effectively to modify this programme of work
  • use other resources, such as libraries and ICT resources, to improve your learning.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding are gained and developed through engagement with the study materials which are mostly provided online. Learning outcomes are assessed primarily by means of tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and end-of-module assessment.

Cognitive skills: you will learn to understand the methodologies and approaches taken by others to the study of the humanities, and you will be asked to evaluate some of these in assignments. You will learn to apply these skills in a more clearly defined area of study, and in the project or final assignment you will begin to apply some of these approaches to a discrete body of evidence yourself.

Practical and professional skills: the formation of arguments and the employment of critical and evaluative skills are taught and assessed throughout the diploma. The use of research libraries is taught and developed in each Part 1 module and will be assessed throughout.

Key skills are developed progressively throughout the programme, initially in relatively brief, structured assignments (typically 2000 words), but more fully and independently in the project or final assignment.

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