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.
Students produce a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a historical topic, chosen in conjunction with their supervisor. This represents the culmination of the History MAs, and constitutes Part Two of the programme.
This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.
Europe of Extremes: 1789 - 1989
The nineteenth century saw the rise of a western European civilization, characterized, as Eric Hobsbawm has noted, by capitalist economics, liberal politics, and the dominance of a middle class that celebrated morality and science. In the twentieth century this civilization faced unprecedented challenges from new political ideologies, and from a working class demanding the right to govern in its own name. The result was an eruption of violence not seen on the continent for centuries; in its wake, the Cold War divided the Europe with an Iron Curtain, and saw the continent become the client of two world superpowers ¿ the USA and the Soviet Union. This team-taught module relies on the specialist knowledge of its tutors to examine economic, political and social themes in the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century Europe.
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.
The Welsh Century: Politics, Nationality and Religion, 1847-1947
This survey of modern Welsh history from the 1847 report on the state of education in Wales, to the social reforms of the Attlee government at the end of the Second World War, traces the emergence of Welsh identity through key developments such as temperance and the Sunday Closing Act, religion and the disestablishment of the church and the emergence of Welsh national institutions. It considers how Welshness adapted to and intersected with other loyalties, defined by race, gender, class and empire, and it deals with the changing social and cultural scene which saw anglicizing influences alter demographic and linguistic patterns in Wales.
Sport and British Society (i)
This module examines the history of modern sport from its development in the late nineteenth century to the advent of the television era in the 1950s. It sets sport firmly in its wider social, economic and political context and examines sport¿s different meanings to communities and individuals across Britain. Students will thus learn about the diversity of sporting traditions across British history and examine how they were shaped by wider forces such as work, class and gender. Local studies will be compared to assess the place of sport in British society and to question the idea of a national culture. The source material of sports history lies at the heart of the module and students will analyse its uses, problems and limitations.
This module forms the first of a two-part Special Subject (with HIH 3240) and will concern the main historical problems and debates concerning the history of sport. It will also introduce students to the primary sources for this period.
Sport and British Society (II)
This module examines the history of modern sport from its development in the late nineteenth century to the advent of the television era in the 1950s. It sets sport firmly in its wider social, economic and political context and examines sport¿s different meanings to communities and individuals across Britain. Students will thus learn about the diversity of sporting traditions across British history and examine how they were shaped by wider forces such as work, class and gender. The source material of sports history lies at the heart of the module and students will analyse its uses, problems and limitations.
This module forms the second part of a two-part Special Subject (with HIH3239). It will be studied through the subject¿s primary sources.
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.
Observing Britain: Everyday Life in the Mid 20th Century
This module explores life in Britain in the middle of the twentieth century through the Mass Observation archive.
Mass Observation was founded in 1937 with the aim of recording how British people experienced and thought about the issues of the day, including work, commemorative practices, religion, sex, politics and newspaper horoscopes, the challenges and anxieties of life in war-time Britain and much more. Drawing on a variety of methods ¿ interviewing, diary writing, participant observation and directives to its national panel ¿ Mass Observation turned the anthropologists' gaze on the British themselves and the material collected forms a hugely important picture of everyday life, popular culture and ordinary people's actions, attitudes and opinions from the 1930s to the 1950s.
In this module students will explore the archive, interrogating the texts written and produced by the Mass Observation volunteers and staff. It will also consider the historiography relating to Britain in this period focusing on key issues such as attitudes to war, government in war and peace-time, civilian morale, notions of citizenship and identity, race and ethnicity, gender relations, work and recreation.
Heritage Dissertation (Practice-Based)
This module affords students the opportunity to complete their MA in Heritage by undertaking a practical heritage project. The project, worth 67% of the marks, may be undertaken independently, or via a placement with a heritage project or organisation. It will be accompanied by a reflective commentary worth 33% of the marks.
Heritage Dissertation (Written)
Students produce a dissertation on a heritage topic, chosen and developed in conjunction with their supervisor in line with the standard College MA requirements.