History, Memory and the Creation of Identity
In most human societies, history and memory are important in the creation of identity. For example, consider how recent political debates often involve debates about the relevance of particular strands of history (such as `empire¿) to modern society. This module explores these relationships from the ancient societies of Egypt, Greece, and Rome to the modern world. It is designed to provide Foundation Year students intending to pursue degrees in Classics, Ancient History, Egyptology or History with an opportunity to reflect critically on what the past means and how we go about studying it.
Fieldtrip module: The Past in its Place
People understand the past and its significance through a range of mediums, including historic documents, objects, artefacts, buildings, structures and monuments. This module will give the students a comprehensive introduction to how we professionally approach and engage with historic visitor attractions. Incorporating some of the major visitor attractions and museums of South Wales, a range of themes and periods will be addressed. Students will be encouraged to explore digital resources in the exploration of each site, will engage in an innovative portfolio of assignments, and will be encouraged to think critically about how the past is presented in site-specific contexts. Creative responses to the module brief will be encouraged. This module is designed around active, participatory, and experiential learning. It designed to have a strong social element where students will be interacting for longer periods (beyond the traditional seminar allocation) and, as such, developing key social and networking skills. Digital proficiency around the use of on-line digital data resources, applications for reprographic presentation and creative responses to the assignments will form part of the skills and employability remit.
Historical Methods and Approaches
This module provides training in advanced historical research. It is designed to introduce students to methods of historical investigation, writing, and presentation, and to important historical resources (including archives, collections of sources, and museums). Attention will be given to the use of IT in historical work work as well as more traditional paper-based methods.
Medieval Europe: An Introduction
The module is a basic introduction to the history of Europe c600-c1450, a period usually described as 'Medieval'. It outlines the political and economic structures of the period, and examines the medieval 'world view' by discussing attitudes to life, death and the afterlife. Its first theme, expansion, charts the growth of Europe as a major world power and includes topics such as the crusades against the Muslims and pagans, political and economic growth, and intellectual development in the foundation of the universities. Its second theme, crisis, focuses on the devastating impact of plague, famine and warfare, and the increasing persecution of heretics, lepers, homosexuals, and Jews.
History is an imprecise art and what historians say and write about the past is not the same as what actually happened in the past. Most people's knowledge about the past doesn't come from professional historians at all but rather from 'public history'. Public history is the collective understandings of the past that exist outside academic discipline of history. It is derived from a diverse range of sources including oral traditions, legends, literature, art, films and television.
This module will introduce you to the study and presentation of the past. It will consider how the content, aims and methods of academic and public history compare and contrast and you will engage in your own small research project to investigate this. The module will also teach you about the fundamentals of studying and writing history at university. You will learn about essay writing, group work and critical analysis and employ these skills to understand and assess history today, both as an academic activity and as public knowledge.
The Practice of History
The purpose of the module is to encourage you to think more deeply about how historians work and, in particular, about how we as historians can locate and use primary historical sources effectively as a means of interpreting and understanding the past. During the module we will learn about the survival of historical evidence, how it is organised and made accessible to historians to undertake their research, and how to effectively locate and interpret it in your studies. We will consider how the process of doing historical research changes over time, in particular with the impact of recent developments like digitization.
At the core of the module will be the work you undertake with others in your seminar group using a range of primary sources which your seminar tutor will introduce to you. As part of the module assessment you will also undertake your own primary source based research project using items from these collections. The module is designed strengthen your analytical skills and to help prepare you for the more extensive uses of primary evidence which you will encounter in final year special subjects and dissertation.
Britain in the Early Middle Ages: Slaves, Dragons, Queens and Vikings
This course provides an overview of the history and archaeology of Britain between 400 and 1100 AD. Taught through a series of thematic case-studies, it is designed to cover issues of constructed ethnicity, migration, slavery, gender, memory and myth. No previous knowledge of the period is required, and students will be encouraged and supported to engage with a fascinating range of source materials. In a chronological sweep through 700 years of British history, the course covers the age of migration, pagan belief systems, the origins of kingdoms, the conversion to Christianity and the impacts of the Viking Age.
The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.
The Placing of History: Digitally Mapping the Historic Past
Whether you are interested in medieval, modern or early modern history, this module will allow you to learn an extremely useful set of transferable skills and will boost your employability. Taught almost exclusively on-line, `The Placing of History¿ will guide you through the introductory basics of using Geographic Information Systems in order for you to digitally map an aspect of your chosen period of history. You¿ll be given step-by-step guidance on how to use industry standard software and will be given the opportunity to define your end of module project focusing on an area of your own interest or specialism (You may chose an aspect that aligns with your dissertation research). More so than ever before, geo-spatial (location) data is being used to manage and understand the modern world and the historic past. This module gives you the chance to overlap your areas of historic interest with the learning of a key set of industry-relevant skills.
Medieval Studies Dissertation
A dissertation of 15,000 - 20,000 words written on a topic decided by the student in consultation with the dissertation supervisor. This represents Part Two of the MA programme in Medieval Studies.
Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 1: Skills and Approaches
This module introduces students to recent and current trends in medieval studies, to the research skills required for MA-level research, and to the medieval heritage of South Wales and the surrounding region. Seminars will consider the nature of medieval sources and texts, and a selection of themes that have made a significant impact upon medieval studies in recent years.
Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 2: Themes and Sources
This module aims to apply the skills and approaches learned in the module HIMM01: Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 1: Skills and Approaches to a range of important themes in Medieval Studies, including gender, identity, laws and customs, spirituality, heritage. The module is interdisciplinary and draws on historical, literary and visual sources. The content of the module will be arranged in 2-weekly blocks, with the first week in each block dedicated to introducing students to the specific theme and the second week being used as a practical application of this knowledge to a source or text.
Directed Reading in Medieval Studies
Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and either historiography or literary criticism, relating to a topic in Medieval Studies which they choose from a wide range of options.