Course Content (including module information)
Modules at Level 1 offer a systematic introduction to the discipline of History, partly by sampling some of the many different approaches that historians take in studying the past, and partly by an exploration of some of the major questions of theory and method with which they are concerned.
Modules at Level 2 are generally survey modules seeking to convey a sense of the principal events, trends and developments in a particular country or region over a fairly long time span. Examples include:
- Greece and Macedon 404-337 BC
- Politics and Society in 20th-Century Ireland
- The American South 1865-1980
- The Expansion of Medieval Europe 1000-1300
Taught modules at Level 3 are more specialised, offering the opportunity to study a short period or a particular theme or problem in detail, working from documents as well as secondary sources. Examples include:
- Family, Gender and Household in Ireland c1740-1840
- Popular Culture in England 1500-1700
- The American Civil War and Reconstruction
- The Peasants' Revolt 1381
In addition, Single and (if they choose) Joint Honours students at Level 3 complete a double-module dissertation based on an individually-assigned research topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor.
Some modules, especially surveys, use lectures and tutorials; others are taught through seminars, in which students are expected to come prepared to fully engage in and sometimes lead group discussions. There is also increasing use of web-based learning.
A variety of assessment methods is used, including written examination, coursework essays submitted during or at the end of the semester, oral presentations by individual students or collaborative groups, and dissertations.
Assessment & Feedback
Assessment (general): The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
Feedback (general): As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when students make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which students can review in their own time.
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high-quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support, to enable you to achieve your full academic potential.
On the BA in History and Politics we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course:
- Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics and outline theoretical and methodological concepts as a starting point for further study. Lectures may also provide opportunities to ask questions, and receive advice on assessments.
- Seminars/tutorials: Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (rarely more than 15 students). The majority of seminars and tutorials are taught by permanent members of the academic staff. Such small-group teaching provides opportunities for student to engage with active researchers who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. Students should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
- E-Learning technologies: Most information associated with lectures and assignments is communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree, through (e.g.) interactive group workshops, online discussions, and web-based learning activities.
- Self-directed study: This is an important part of life as a Queen’s student, when private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date, and research and preparation work for assignments is carried out. Academic staff will provide tailored bibliographies for research projects and self-directed reading.
- Work-Related learning/Field Trips: Students have a variety of opportunities to participate in work-related learning and field trips; there are also meetings with alumni to advise students on opportunities for graduate employment.
- Supervised projects and dissertations: In final year, students have the opportunity to undertake these. If they do so, they receive support from a supervisor who guides them in terms of how to carry out research and who will provide feedback on drafts of work. All supervision is undertaken by permanent members of staff, many of whom are world-class experts in their field.
- Personal Tutor: Every undergraduate has a Personal Tutor who is a member of the academic staff. The Personal Tutor meets with his/her students throughout their academic career and provides advice on personal development, employment opportunities, and their general progress through university