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.
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.
Anglo-Saxon and Viking-Age England
Between the eighth and the eleventh centuries England was subjected to an almost relentless onslaught of Viking raids and invasions. This titanic clash between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and the Danish armies who sought to commandeer their lands was to have a profound effect on the social, political, economic and cultural developments of the period. This module will provide an overview of the key historical and archaeological debates concerning the impact of Viking activity in England. From the earliest chance raids of the eighth century, through the collapse of the European Age of Emporia in the ninth, to the founding of the Danish kingdom of the Danelaw and the ascendency of the Danish kings to the English throne in the eleventh century, the module will evaluate how the Viking incursions had both a catastrophic effect on society in some areas of England but also served as a stimulus to economic developments in others. The legacy of these centuries was the birth of a state infrastructure, a system of effective governance and a developing economy that was the envy of the wider European.
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.
Mapping Medieval Landscapes
In the understanding of medieval societies there is an increasing emphasis on the study of their social and economic landscapes. From the development of towns and patterns of land-use, to the locations of battles and other major historical events recorded in annals or charters, analysing data in a spatial context ¿ the act of `mapping¿ ¿ and relating it to other environmental and cultural information has the capacity to yield new understandings about the periods and places we study. From simple location and distribution maps, to more complex renderings of temporality and space, this module will provide students with a firm grounding in the techniques of digital mapping, cartography and spatial analysis and will allow for the exploration of a particular landscape during a period of your choice in a level of unprecedented depth and detail. The module will invite you to critique the process of mapping and to think about the validity of mapped data whilst at the same time giving you an invaluable insight into how a rich variety of contextual data can be integrated with historic evidence and presented in mapped form.
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.
Heritage Work Placement
This module enables students to gain practical experience of working with a heritage organisation or project in a graduate-level role. Placements may involve the acquisition of skills in museum work, community projects, heritage interpretation and policy (but are not restricted to these areas). Group discussion and individual tutorials will support students in preparing an extended essay reflecting on their work experience in the context of literature on heritage and public history.
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.