This will be a negotiated assessment, which can take one of several forms: for example, a dissertation, a historical project in partnership with an outside organisation, or a product resulting from a work placement scheme (e.g. a museum). Students studying for a bracketed award should focus their project on a relevant topic.
Research Methods I & Research Methods II
This unit will focus on developing the necessary research and writing skills needed for postgraduate study in History suited to their chosen exit award pathway. In part one, all students will receive skills training in advanced historical research, proposal writing, and archival research. The second part of Research Methods will involve focussing on skills specific to the research interests of the student and, in the case of bracketed awards, on methodology specific to their chosen area.
Case Studies in Global History
This unit examines key themes and sources for the study of history in a global context. Students can explore an areas related to their potential bracketed award so topics and subjects on offer can vary year to year.
Likely Optional Units
Nobles, States and Society: The Transformation of European Elites, 1400-1800
This unit examines the transformation of the European aristocracy across a long period (c. 1400 to 1800) as part of the social and political processes of the development of the modern state. Was there a decline of the aristocracy with the collapse of feudalism? Or was there a transformation from warriors into statesmen? Was the court the ‘civiliser’ of the nobility? Did this transformation help or hinder the development of the modern state? Specific topics include: Late medieval warrior society; chivalry; family structures; emergence of the court in Northern Italy and Burgundy; etiquette, ceremonial and ritual; rise of the ‘new nobility’ in service of the state; reaction through rebellion and civil war; consolidation and absolutism; nobles as politicians and diplomats; the role of noblewomen; and the age of revolution.
Northern Identities and Victorian Culture
This unit offers students the opportunity to explore the North’s place within English national culture in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Students are introduced to historiographical debates and to the theoretical problems of defining place, regional identity and culture. Topics covered include the image of the North within Englishness and national culture; regional mythologies and northern identities; insider and outsider perceptions; localities and county identities; class, ethnicity and gender; the post-industrial north and the northern urban renaissance. These themes are introduced through a range of different sources: newspapers, periodicals, tourist and travel writing to regional archive film, auto/biographies, historical fiction. Visits to museums and exhibitions as well as engagement with public campaigns are also integral parts of the unit.
Professional Heritage and Practice
This unit provides detailed training in the methods used to record heritage and the historic environment, with the aims of equipping students with practical skills to enhance their employability in the professional heritage sector. It will focus on the process of heritage assessment and evaluation in the UK professional context, including field-recording of heritage assets, the production of industry-standard reports, and the integration of heritage decision-making into various areas of public administration.
Britain and World Politics since 1918: Aspects of British Foreign Policy
This unit, in two parts, examines various aspects of Britain's changing role in the world through a number of major events, issues and key concepts. Part one covers the emergence of the new diplomacy Britain's role at the Versailles Conference and as an international peacekeeper during the 1920s; Britain and the Spanish Civil War; Appeasement and the coming of the Second World War; Wartime alliances and Britain's role in post-war reconstruction; Indian independence; Palestine and Britain's changing role in the Middle East; Britain and the Cold War; and the Suez crisis. The second part covers the politics of reappraisal, post-Suez; Retreat from empire; Anglo-American relationships from Macmillan to Cameron; Britain and European integration from the Schuman Plan (1950) to plans for a second referendum; The politics of realism, international law and morality in foreign policy Britain's role in modern conflicts the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and in the aftermath of the Arab spring.
A Good War? America’s World War II at Home and Abroad, c. 1938-47
This unit will provide a cultural and social history of the American experience of World War II, paying close attention to issues of race, gender and class. Conceptually, the unit will interrogate the idea that this conflict was, for Americans, a Good War. The unit begins c.1938, the point in time at which President Roosevelt's administration began mobilising for a potential conflict (expansion of the Navy and Army); it then moves through the chronology of the war, before concluding c. 1947, the point in time at which the key outlines of the post-war world had emerged (Containment, Marshall Plan, Iron Curtain, Bretton Woods).
Case Studies in Controversy: History and Memory in Public
The importance of the past to contemporary society is best shown by exploring some of those instances when various organisations and individuals politicians, journalists, local and national governments have been drawn into discussion and debate regarding the purpose, rights and responsibilities of History. From the Holocaust denial trial of David Irving (which saw professional historians called to the witness stand), to the ethics of museum curatorship in our post-colonial age, to the significance and worth of history and heritage to local and national communities, this unit interrogates the value of the public past in the 21st century through revealing public controversies.
Latin Sources for Historians: From Rome to the Medieval World
Veni, Vidi, Vici! I came, I saw, I conquered! This phrase in Latin, famously pronounced by Julius Caesar, announced his victory over Pharnaces of Pontus in 47 BCE. It is the official language of the Romans, but it is also the language of the early Church Fathers and the legal and scientific writers of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period, making Latin an extremely helpful tool in exploring these societies and cultures. Latin language infiltrates modern English – you may quote verbatim or expect a quid pro quo when you are compos mentis, or vice versa. It is the basis for most modern Romantic languages (Spanish, French, Italian), and learning it is one of the best ways to develop your linguistic skills and exercise your brain through a series of mental gymnastics. This unit will teach you Latin language in its historical contexts, at a level designed for absolute beginners with no prior language training.
The Second Crusade: Holy War on the Periphery of Latin Christendom
The largest and most diverse of its kind, the Second Crusade (1145-49) encompassed near-simultaneous attacks on numerous Muslim targets in Syria, Iberia and pagan strongholds around the Baltic Sea. The scale was unprecedented and would not be witnessed again. But in many ways the crusade was a failure: the two largest armies of the Second Crusade headed by the most powerful kings in Europe were devastated in the Byzantine Empire and Anatolia by malnutrition and Turkish attacks, even before the allied Christian campaign in Syria ended in a 'fiasco'. Combined armies of Danish kings and Polish and Saxon leaders could not put aside their differences to prevail against the pagans of the Baltic. And of the Christian campaigns against the Muslims of Iberia, only Afonso Is capture of Lisbon proved enduring, with all other successes quickly overturned by the fundamentalist Almohads of northern Africa. Using an array of primary sources in translation, this unit will uncover the reasons for the failures of the Second Crusade while assessing its impact on the peoples and lands affected by it. In doing so, this unit will illuminate an episode that affected all areas of Christian Europe and those beyond its periphery.
Cultures of Consumption: The British at Home, 1660-1830
This unit explores the homes of the British elite and middling sorts, asking how and why they were transformed during the long eighteenth century, and what this tells us about broader shifts in British society. In tracing changes in domestic material culture and the motivations underpinning consumption, it provides challenging perspectives on identity, social relations, commercial interaction and spatial practices.
We think we know the Elizabethans and Elizabeth I, but how much is fact and how much is fiction? Elizabeth I and her ministers hugely successful in portraying Elizabeth I as Gloriana – the image we still have of her today.
This course looks beyond the myth to explore the dangerous politics of Elizabethan England and ask what was life like for ordinary Elizabethans? We will develop the academic skills necessary for advanced historical analysis, including learning to read early modern handwriting – palaeography . We will also examine key developments in Tudor history including: the persecution of Catholics; religious terrorism; the problems of marriage; Elizabeth I’s gender and government; Anglo-Scottish relations and Mary, Queen of Scots.
Students will use primary sources – many of them in the original handwriting – to gain a deeper understanding of this dramatic and important period of history.
Latin for Historians
Veni, Vidi, Vici! I came, I saw, I conquered! This phrase in Latin, famously pronounced by Julius Caesar, announced his victory over Pharnaces of Pontus in 47 BCE. It is the official language of the Romans, but it is also the language of the early Church Fathers and the legal and ‘scientific’ writers of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period, making Latin an extremely helpful tool in exploring these societies and cultures. Latin language infiltrates modern English – you may quote verbatim or expect a quid pro quo when you are compos mentis, or vice versa. It is the basis for most modern ‘Romantic’ languages (Spanish, French, Italian), and learning it is one of the best ways to develop your linguistic skills and exercise your brain through a series of mental gymnastics. This unit will take you through aspects of Latin language in its historical contexts, at a level designed for beginners with an interest in Ancient, Medieval and/or Early Modern History.