Approaches To History (For Postgraduates) HIST5029

  • Academic Session: 2015-16
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The focus of this course tends to be on key historians whose work represents different approaches to history developed from the nineteenth century. The course is designed to be flexible, to suit students' particular interests, but also to widen their knowledge of methodologies or techniques. The choice of representative historians may be conditioned by whether the participants' interests are primarily medieval, early modern, or modern, for example J.Burckhardt, cultural history, "medieval" and "modern"; the Annales School, or Schools, and their key protagonists; British Marxist historians; post-colonial historiography; feminist history; the impact of post-modernist critiques of history.


10 x 2 hours

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





four short papers (c.1,200 words) used as basis of a (10-15 minute) presentation for opening seminars; the best three of the four will count for the final assessment

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ develop an awareness of the different methodological approaches and techniques of professional historians;

■ make students more aware of different approaches and methods relevant to their own fields of interest

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to

■ demonstrate an understanding of a number of different approaches to history, especially through the 20th century

■ demonstrate an understanding of some conditions affecting changing historical methodologies and philosophies of history

■ demonstrate an appreciation of how the methods of other disciplines have affected historians' approaches

■ demonstrate an ppreciation of the strengths and weakness of different methods and approaches to topics of their own particular concern

■ demonstrate a confidence in delivering a clear, concise and intellectually tenable argument, and in responding to similar presentations by others in the group;

■ demonstrate an appreciation of the distinction between a clear and stimulating verbal presentation, and a summary of that same argument in clearly formulated written English