Advanced Oral History HIST5175

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This postgraduate course allows students to explore advanced oral history theory and practices as a valuable means of understanding the past. In weekly seminars, we will examine the advantages and limitations of oral history as both a research methodology and an outcome by reading and discussing key texts written by leading oral historians and related practitioners. In addition, in the second half of the course students will gain practical experience designing and implementing a mini oral history project that will be directly related to their postgraduate dissertation projects, or museum, archive, or community work. By the end of the semester, students will have written a preliminary research design, submitted their project proposals for ethics approval, and conducted and analysed an interview of relevance to their research interests. 


Two hours per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

This is one of the PGT module options in History and may not run every year. The options that are running in the current session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College Level

Excluded Courses





Research design and ethics application (40%) - 2,000 words

Reflective essay (60%) - 2,500 words

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Develop the intellectual interests and analytical skills acquired by students during their first two years.

■ Introduce students to previously unfamiliar methodological approaches, chronological periods, and geographical areas by offering a wide and flexible choice of options.

■ Offer the opportunity to develop skills in historical computing.

■ Nurture familiarity with complex historical debates and interpretations.

■ Develop skills in interpreting primary sources where appropriate, and to inform these discussions with new ideas derived from the lecturers' current research.

■ Develop transferable skills by fostering individual initiative, personal choice, group discussion and, where appropriate, problem-solving teamwork.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Gain a wide knowledge of the field of oral history and its strengths and limitations for studying the past.

■ Develop skills in the critical analysis of oral historical sources.

■ Acquire first-hand experience in producing their own source material by conducting an interview.

■ Develop skills related to evaluating oral sources in light of existing historiography on a topic. 

■ Explore the potential of oral history for educating and engaging the public; and

■ Improve their written and analytical skills via class discussion and submission of formal assessed work.

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.