University of Chester

Programme Specification
History MA
2017 - 2018

Master of Arts

History

History

University of Chester

University of Chester

Parkgate Road Campus, Chester

Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

Full time = 1 year; Part time = 2 years

6 Years

Annual - September

V100

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities History and Archaeology

N/A

N/A

PG History

Tuesday 24th May 2016

  • To offer suitably qualified students the opportunity to explore and critically examine, within the framework of a taught postgraduate programme, the advanced study of history.
  • To be informed by, and contribute to, the broader continuing academic debates on the study of past human societies and the importance of the past in the present through the investigation of archival material, related heritage and material culture.
  • To provide graduate students with the opportunity to develop an independent extended piece of scholarly research into a particular chronological period, geographical region or historical group.
  • To make available to students the particular benefits which come from the wide range of resources developed by the University of Chester for historical research.
  • To prepare students for postgraduate research in history at Master/Doctor of Philosophy level and beyond as self-directed scholars and researchers.

Students will demonstrate in all modules a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of:

  • the nature and value of history and an appreciation of the scholarly study of history’s interaction with wider society: delivered by module HI7401
  • selected themes and issues, examined in their national, regional or local contexts: delivered by any of the optional modules
  • the range, nature and value of primary and secondary sources, theories and methodologies for the study of historical subjects: delivered by module HI7329
  • current critical, theoretical and methodological positions in advanced scholarship within the discipline of history: delivered by HI7401

Students will demonstrate in all modules an ability to:

  • systematically and creatively handle complex issues arising from the analysis of primary sources: delivered by modules HI7329 & HI7337
  • critically engage with the intellectual and historical contexts of primary and secondary sources: delivered by modules HI7329 & HI7337
  • interrogate and evaluate a wide range of documentary, visual and material evidence both critically and emphatically while addressing content, context and perspective: delivered by module HI7401
  • evaluate current critical and theoretical positions in advanced scholarship and research within the discipline of history: delivered by module HI7401
  • critically analyse the range of research methods available to the history student, and to devise research strategies appropriate to a chosen area of enquiry to plan, conduct and present original research: delivered by modules HI7401, HI7329 & HI7337
  • engage in critical self-reflection on their own oral and written communication skills: delivered by all optional modules
  • apply scholarly conventions in a rigorous and sophisticated manner: delivered by all modules

 

Students will:

  • demonstrate a practical understanding of relevant research methodologies and techniques, and of their appropriate application: delivered by module HI7401
  • present and disseminate their oral and written work in accordance with academic conventions: delivered by module HI7401
  • demonstrated the skills of the researcher including bibliographical skills, selection and synthesis of primary and secondary sources: delivered by module HI7401

Via all modules, students will demonstrate an ability to:

  • systematically and creatively handle complex information;
  • make sound judgements in the absence of complete data;
  • analyse and critically evaluate their own findings and those of others;
  • summarise, document, report, and communicate conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • plan and complete complex tasks;
  • tackle and solve complex problems;
  • advance their own knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level;
  • provide original and sophisticated analytical insight to questions appropriate to the discipline.

Via all modules, students will have the transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

  • sensitivity to language;
  • clear communication;
  • analytical ability
  • research skills
  • the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility;
  • decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations;
  • the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

Students will demonstrate in all modules an ability to summarise, document, report, and communicate conclusions clearly, in oral and written form, to specialist and non-specialist audiences: primarily via modules HI7401, HI7329 & HI7337, but also via all optional ones

PG Certificate History (60 credits):  All PG Cert. students take the 20-credit core module HI7401: Research Methods and Skills in History and the 20-credit core module HI7402, Approaches to Historiography plus one 20-credit option from the available pools. 

PG Diploma History (120 credits):  students take the 20-credit core module HI7401: Research Methods and Skills in History and the 20-credit core module HI7402, Approaches to Historiography followed by EITHER four 20-credit options OR three 20-credit options plus the 20-credit module HI7337 Research Essay. 

MA History (180 credits):  students take the 20-credit core module HI7401: Research Methods and Skills in History and the 20-credit core module HI7402, Approaches to Historiography followed by three 20-credit options (one from Group A, one from Group B and one from either Group A or B) plus the 80-credit module HI7306 Research Dissertation.

Group A

HI7342: A Divided Past: Post-War Germany and the Nazi Past 

HI7343: The Birth of Modern Ireland: From Rebellion to Famine

HI7344: Love, Hate & Everything in Between: Emotions in Early Modern Europe

HI7405: The Aliens Debates: Britain and Immigration at the Fin de Siècle

 

Group B

HI7013: Defending the Realm: Fortifications in the Landscape

HI7311: Transformation and Impact: War and Chivalry in the Later Middle Ages

HI7312: Kingship and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon England, 400-1066

HI7322: The Vietnam War

HI7410: Designing British Landscapes: from Stowe to the Olympic Park, 1700-2012

HI7413: Landscapes of Leisure: Tourism and the English Countryside in the 20th Century

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
HI7013 7 Defending the Realm: Fortifications in the Landscape 20 Optional
HI7311 7 Transformation and Impact: War and Chivalry in the Later Middle Ages 20 Optional
HI7312 7 Kingship and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon England, 400-1066 20 Optional
HI7322 7 The Vietnam War 20 Optional
HI7324 7 Presenting Warfare: Military Museums in the UK 20 N/A
HI7325 7 The Crusades: Experiments in Holy Warfare 20 N/A
HI7326 7 War and Memory: Commemorating the World Wars in Western Europe 20 N/A
HI7329 7 Research Dissertation 80 Comp
HI7337 7 Research Essay 20 Optional
HI7339 7 Minorities in Modern Warfare 20 N/A
HI7340 7 America in the 1970s: A Decade of Disaster? 20 N/A
HI7341 7 First Industrial Nation: The Causes, Nature and Impact of Industrialisation in Post-Medieval Britain 20 N/A
HI7342 7 A Divided Past: Post War Germany and the Nazi Past 20 Optional
HI7343 7 The Birth of Modern Ireland: From Rebellion to Famine 20 Optional
HI7344 7 Love, Hate and Everything in Between: Emotions in Early Modern Europe 20 Optional
HI7401 7 Research Methods and Skills in History 20 Comp
HI7402 7 Approaches to Historiography 20 Comp
HI7405 7 The Aliens Debates: Britain and Immigration at the Fin de Siecle 20 N/A
HI7410 7 Designing British Landscapes: from Stowe to the Olympic Park, 1700-2012 20 Optional
HI7411 7 The Making of the English Landscape, 400-1200 20 N/A
HI7412 7 Consumer Cities, 1300-1600 20 N/A
HI7413 7 Landscapes of Leisure: Tourism and the English Countryside in the 20th Century 20 Optional

  • 60 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Postgraduate Certificate
  • 120 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Postgraduate Diploma
  • 180 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Masters degree

N/A

N/A

Applicants would normally be expected to have a minimum of 2.1 degree but consideration will be given to the overall profile of the student. Equivalence will be reviewed by an interview panel and prior experience in the history, museum and heritage sectors will be taken into account alongside academic qualifications. The interview panel also reserves the right to ask potential candidates to submit a piece of written work for consideration, if appropriate.  Decisions concerning the allocation of credit, either for admission or advanced standing, will be the responsibility of a Credit Allocation Panel.  Credit value will be given for appropriate certificated or experiential learning completed within the previous five years and through which an applicant can demonstrate prior achievement of learning outcomes related to one or more of the programme's modules.  A student seeking advanced standing must apply before enrolment. Applicants with equivalent qualifications from universities outside of the UK will be considered and will need to be able to demonstrate evidence of those equivalent qualifications.

 

There is currently no relevant Master’s Level Benchmark Statement for History. However, many of the principles expressed in the undergraduate Benchmark Statement for History are appropriate and are embraced within the outcomes detailed below. The MA programmes will accord with the descriptor for a qualification at Master’s level included in the QAA’s ‘Framework for Higher Education Qualifications’ (second edition, August 2008):

  • a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the historical academic discipline
  • a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship
  • originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research

It also accords with the more detailed description of defining characteristics in the QAA’s ‘Master’s Degree Characteristics’ (March 2010). We have also considered the QAA’s overview of opinions on the possibility of developing benchmarks for academic programmes as master’s level, ‘Securing and maintaining academic standards: benchmarking M-level programmes’ (February 2006) and the QAA’s ‘Report on round table discussion meeting: “UK Master’s 2010 and Beyond” (December 2007).

The taught core and optional modules will be taught predominantly as seminars, supplemented where appropriate by e-learning, short lectures, contributions from guest speakers, field trips and independent study. All sessions will also be complemented by individual tutorials, which will be available during tutors’ regular office hours or by appointment to support students’ private learning. The Dissertation (or Research Essay) will be taught by one-to-one tutorial supervision. 

The primary methods of assessment will be the essay and dissertation. The programme’s suite of assessment recognises the importance of student progression. For this reason, the research skills module HI7401, which is taught during the first semester, includes shorter pieces of assessment: one 2,000-word primary source assignment, one 20 minute oral presentation and one 1,500 word synopsis of a potential research topic.

Following on from the foundations offered by HI7401, the remaining modules are assessed by means of one 4,000 word essay. This, though, should not be regarded as a limitation. At undergraduate level, the History programme employs a range of assessment methods, including book reviews, blogs, examinations, essays, presentations and reflective journals. For a postgraduate level programme, where the focus is on the development of students as academic historians, essays are a more appropriate form of assessment. However, it should be stressed that an essay remains a flexible assessment method, allowing tutors to tailor essay questions to suit the particular needs of each module.

Each of the 4,000 word essays helps to prepare students for HI7329 (Research Dissertation), which is assessed by means of a 16,000 word dissertation. As the final piece of assessment to be submitted, the dissertation looks for deeper knowledge and more complex arguments; students will have developed these skills through their work on the earlier 4,000 word essays in the option modules. The programme’s suite of assessment is modelled on the Department’s other successful postgraduate programmes, which ensures for parity between cognate courses. Taken together, the range of assessments covered by the MA helps to develop the variety of research and writing skills needed by successful History postgraduates.

On completion of this programme, a successful graduate will have acquired a range of communication and transferable skills (as embraced by both the educational aims of the programme and the programme outcomes - see above) valuable to their current or potential employers.  The critical skills students will have acquired and developed with enable them to interpret, analyse and evaluate a wider range of documentary, visual and material evidence, relevant to a range of professional careers. The programme's graduates will also be highly motivated and proficient in the completion of complex projects to deadlines and through guided independent study. Graduates will have high-level research skills and the ability to apply their knowledge and research findings in a range of contexts. Those graduating from the programme will also be able to construct and interrogate original ideas and reflect on their own abilities and skills.  

In the light of these characteristics, graduates from all our Master’s pathways will be prepared for further research at Master/Doctor of Philosophy level in terms of both key skills and subject knowledge. The successful graduate would also have demonstrated the skills and characteristics as described in the FHEQ descriptor for an M-Level degree. Furthermore, the programme may help to prepare students for employment in the commercial, government and museum sectors.

 The programme conforms to the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy and the appropriate Codes of Practice.  The Department of History and Archaeology is fully committed to the support of all its students whatever their circumstances.  Over the years, the Department has sought advice and received training in the support of students with a wide variety of disabilities.

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