At the heart of our teaching and learning is the student. We encourage you to explore, to make your own discoveries and to take responsibility for your intellectual development as a historian. We guide you and suggest possible routes to learning, but it is up to you to learn to navigate your own individual path. We enable and facilitate you to grow as a historian and to develop skills for future employment.
The very nature of studying history means there is a good amount of self-directed study required - reading, researching, preparing for tutorials - in order for you to get the most from your degree. We give lectures and direct seminars, which often involve discussing issues with fellow students in informal sessions. We guide and support your learning both in direct contact teaching and generally in your time at University.
Direct contact teaching
- Year one: minimum of 12 hours scheduled contact time a week
- Year two: minimum of 10 hours scheduled contact time a week
- Final year: minimum of 8 hours scheduled contact time a week
Academic staff are available outside of scheduled contact time to discuss issues with your studies and progress.
Lectures offer a clear and accessible overview of what you are studying. Taught in larger groups they introduce you to the debates about key historical issues and are an effective way of conveying information, ideas, and approaches that may seem overly complex in books. They also provide a foundation for seminar discussion and for further reading.
Lecture notes are posted online in advance in case you missed anything during the lecture or want to prepare beforehand.
Seminars and workshops
These smaller groups offer a supportive environment to:
- discuss and share your ideas
- consider the opinions of others
- think through issues raised by the lectures and reading.
This is where the agenda and approach of the seminar are set principally by students themselves. You’ll have full support from staff to develop the seminar content and facilities such as the Digital Transformations Huband Manuscripts and Special Collections to help prepare material. We place particular emphasis on these sessions because as well as challenging you academically they help you to develop vital skills employers really value.
Tutorials and supervisions
These can be individual or in small groups. They offer you the chance to discuss plans for an essay or presentation, or follow up on an area of a module which has interested you.
In your final year, individual dissertation supervisions (which are in addition to scheduled contact hours) are an opportunity to develop your research plans and have focused personal discussions on how most effectively to interpret, structure, and present your research findings.
Outside the classroom
These opportunities allow you to develop different perspectives and to engage with historical material, often in its original setting, on a more personal level.
The benefits of field trips and recent examples
Our online learning environment where you can access teaching materials and resources relating specifically to your modules.
The main library for History students is the Hallward library. As well as History-specific material it offers access to external specialist resources not publicly available as well as offering a range of study facilities.
Manuscripts and Special Collections
An invaluable archive with over three million records in over 600 collections. As well as the opportunity to access original historical material MSS also has links to other global archives.
Manuscripts and Special Collections
Assessing your work
The assessment methods for individual history modules vary. As well as traditional essay writing and exams we also use a variety of other methods such as:
- individual or team presentations
- work on the interpretation of document sources or images
- poster presentations
- reviews and reflections on the process of study.
Your progress will be assessed each semester. You must pass the first year, but your final degree classification is based on an assessment of your work in the second and final years.