Doing History: Sources and Skills for Historians HIST5156

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course aims to provide Masters History students with structured training and core research and assessment skills for advanced historical study and preparation for their dissertations. It also provides an opportunity for them to engage with History beyond their own specialist fields and beyond their seminar rooms. It is the primary whole cohort forum for History MSc programmes.


5x4 hour lecture/seminar sessions per week as scheduled in MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





Review of research seminars (1000 words) - 20%

Students must attend at least two research seminars, one of which should be out with their specialist subject of the student

Poster and poster presentation: (2000 words) -30%

Research Proposal (2000 words) - 50%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Develop the attributes of confidence, self-awareness, and initiative required for advanced and independent historical study.

■ Identify and acquire the practical, analytical, professional and intellectual skills required to undertake independent historical research at advanced level.

■ Develop the practical, analytical, professional and intellectual skills required to initiate, design, plan, and execute an independent research project at advanced level.

■ Evaluate the relevance, strengths and weaknesses of a range of sources and methodologies for the practice of historical research at advanced level.

■ Develop the skills in expression, communication and dissemination (oral, written, visual) appropriate to advanced historical study and for engagement out with their degree.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Identify the attributes and skillsets required in order to engage in advanced and independent historical research, and develop and apply these positively in appropriate spheres.

■ Identify a research question and design appropriate methods for investigating it.

■ Locate (using bibliographic, archival and IT skills) and evaluate the sources of information required to investigate a complex research question.

■ Present research proposals and investigations in oral, visual and written form.

■ Engage with their discipline beyond the university context.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.