Undergraduate Summer Research Project: History

Note that this is now an online course
Apply now (applications close 15 May 2021)

When completing the application form, please note the month of entry will be Sept 2020 as the summer programmes take place within the Sept 2020 - August 2021 Academic year

In this project you will pursue an independent research project in history guided by a supervisor with group seminars in historical methods.

This course provides an opportunity to undertake a historical research project to develop familiarity with historical methods and transferable skills in critical analysis, argument and oral presentation. 

History summer research projects

Applicants should rank their preferred topics in descending order from the available suite and upload them, saved as a pdf file, to their online application. The project leaders will then allocate projects. 

  1. British Popular Culture & Political Protest during the Cold War, 1946 to 1991
    This research project will explore representations of political protest in British popular culture during the Cold War era, from opposition to the Vietnam War to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Students will engage with primary sources such as film, television, music and fashion (for example, the Janey Buchan Political Song Collection held by the University of Glasgow), analysing how these were used as tools of political protest and commentary during the Cold War. Working with the supervisor, the student will frame a research paper topic focusing on a specific source type, event, time period, person or place. This project will build skills in analysing and contextualising non-traditional sources.

  2. Oral History and Feminist Activism in Scotland, Britain and the United States, 1960s-2000
    This research project will explore the women’s liberation movement, or ‘second-wave’ feminism, occurring from the late 1960s into the 1990s through English-language testimonies found in online oral history archives in the United Kingdom and the United States. Students will engage with oral history methodology, including an introduction to the practical and ethical dimensions of oral history interviewing. The course will include a visit to the Glasgow Women’s Library, the only accredited museum in the UK dedicated to women's lives, histories and achievements. Working with their supervisor, students will develop a research paper topic focusing on selected oral history testimonies provided by feminist activists.

  3. Crime, Punishment and the Body in Early Modern and Modern Britain
    This research project will explore the changing nature of penal punishment in Britain from early modern spectacles of public corporal punishment to the rise of formalised institutions of discipline and incarceration in the modern era. Students will explore how, between the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, anxieties about the deterrent effect of public punishment grew alongside calls for a more ‘humane’ treatment of offenders. This shift will be investigated with a consideration of the implications of this change for wider ideas about ‘modernity’, perceptions of criminality and institutionalised power and control. Working with their supervisor, students will develop a research paper topic using digitised archival source material and press reports on crime and punishment.

  4. Gender, Crime and the Law in Modern Britain
    This research project will explore the ways in which gendered power relations and constructions of gender difference have shaped judicial and cultural responses to crime. Recognising the courtroom as a cultural space in which ideas about gender have been articulated, legitimised or rejected, this will investigate how socially constructed characteristics have been applied to male and female sexed bodies and have shaped how criminal offenders were perceived and regulated. Working with their supervisor, students will identify a research paper topic using digitised court records and press reports. Potential areas of focus include gender-based violence (e.g. spousal abuse, homicide and sexual violence), female criminality and the masculinisation of crime.

  5. Patriarchy, Gender, and the Law in Late Medieval and Early Modern Scotland and England
    This research topic will explore men’s and women’s access to criminal, civil and ecclesiastical law in late medieval and early modern Scotland and England. Legal historians have shown that while women’s legal status was heavily regulated in theory, they were able to approach the courts in pursuit of their interests and that men’s access to law, while less regulated in comparison to women, could be contingent on their economic worth and household status. Students will explore the ways in which gendered power relations were upheld, resisted and negotiated by men and women within a legal framework. Working with their supervisor, students will develop a research paper topic using legal handbooks and case records. There will be an opportunity to develop skills in palaeography through the study of archival court records.

  6. Protest and Propaganda in Scotland and England, c.1603-1707
    This research project explores the idea that the turbulent seventeenth century was a time of increasing ‘politicisation’ in which ordinary men and women found new ways to participate in political debate. Students will consider how this change might be conceptualised and what forms this participation took, including seditious songs, mock executions and printed pamphlets. Working with their supervisor, students will develop a research paper topic using seventeenth-century printed propaganda from the university’s Special Collections archive.

What will I learn?

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

    • Assess scholarly literature and available primary sources to formulate a viable research question in History
    • Contextualise and critically analyse primary sources to produce a convincing historical argument
    • Express historical analysis and argument in written and oral forms

        Entry requirements

        • GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent)
        • you should be currently enrolled at an international higher education institution.
        • Ideally, applicants should have completed two years of study in university-level History with a major or minor in History.  Applicants who have only attended university for one year will be considered if strong performance in History can be demonstrated. 

        If your first language is not English, you must meet our minimum proficiency level:

        • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training) overall score of 6.0, with no sub test less than 5.5
        • we also accept equivalent scores in other recognised qualifications such as ibTOEFL, CAE, CPE and more