What you will study
This module will support you in planning and carrying out your own independent research project. It builds on the skills introduced during MA History part 1, and your project should build on the specialist themes addressed in that module, focusing primarily on an aspect of British and or Irish history during the period 1500–1970.
Careful planning in the early stages of any research project is essential. With that in mind, this module commences with six units of teaching materials which will take you through the steps necessary to develop your initial idea for a dissertation project into a coherent, refined and feasible research proposal.
The learning aims for these units are to:
- develop your understanding of the research process
- support you in the preparation of a viable research proposal
- introduce skills and strategies to manage your research project effectively
Your research proposal will provide you with a solid foundation to proceed with the independent research phase of the module, when you will focus on researching and writing your dissertation. There are two dissertation options available on this module.
1: Standard dissertation
This is an original, extended piece of academic writing. It should demonstrate knowledge of a specific topic, put forward a clear, rigorous argument, and attempt to prove or establish something by means of analysis and the presentation of evidence.
2: Practice-based dissertation
This is a piece of work equivalent to a standard dissertation. It is comprised of a project report and a ‘research product’ component. Research products should relate to the handling and analysis of primary sources (e.g. datasets, edited transcripts, data visualisations, oral history research). The two components of this dissertation option are expected to work together to offer an original, extended piece of academic research, demonstrating knowledge of a specific topic, put forward a clear, rigorous argument, and attempt to prove or establish something by means of analysis and presentation of evidence.
Carrying out independent historical research is an exciting and rewarding experience. You will be supported throughout by your supervisor, module materials, online forums, and module learning events, including face to face day-schools.
You will learn
This module will help you to further develop and practice advanced skills for:
- locating, handling and analysing historical sources
- communicating complex evidence, ideas and arguments
- planning and managing an independent research project.