Strand Convenor: Dr Sean O'Connell
The British History strand consists of five modules:
1. Research Methods (MHY7020) Semester 1 (Sept-Dec)
This module offers an introduction to bibliographic research, archival usage, the handling of primary and secondary sources, methods of documenting research results and practical writing and editing skills, preparatory to the Dissertation. It also includes introduction to the more specialised methodologies associated with oral history, statistics and material culture. Training will be offered in using sources specific to your British history strand, and you will be encouraged to attend research seminars within the School to support this training. This module is assessed through a number of practical coursework exercises.
2. Historiography (MHY7035) Semester 1 (Sept-Dec)
This is a two-part introduction to themes in global and area-specific historical theory and practice. The first part, taught in common with MA Irish History, introduce you to developments in contemporary international historiographies, and includes topics such as memory and orality, new cultural histories, postcolonialism and postmodernism.
In the second part the strand groups divide to focus on recent historiographical developments in their areas of specialism. For students taking the British History strand this will involve a review of main developments in modern British and British imperial historiography.
This module is assessed through two research essays of c 3,000 words.
3. Topics in British History (MHY7079) Semester 2 (Jan - June)
This module will include case-studies in British history during a period from the 1930s to the 1980s, covering the Second World War through the Cold War. Case-studies (which will vary according to the availability of staff) will include such topices as the 'People's war'?; British intelligence in the Second World War; austerity and politics in post-war Britain; British foreign policy and the Cold War; British politics and the Cold War; the Cambridge Five Spy Ring; British culture and the Cold War; the Permissive society; the Miners' Strike.
This module is assessed through research essays and/or skills assessments.
4. Historical Documents and Sources (MHY7025) Semester 2 (Jan-June)
In this module students will be introduced to techniques of calendaring, indexing and locating primary-source documents. Students may produce either a calendar of previously uncatalogued documents, a finding aid to primary sources on a defined theme available locally, or a database drawn from primary sources. Training will be provided by QUB Special Collections and the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, but relevant materials might also be utilised from other libraries and depositories.
In the second part of this module, students will focus on historiographical topics related to British history.
Assessment is by calendar, finding aid or database, in all cases prefaced by a 5,000 word introductory essay. You will be encouraged to deposit your finished (and corrected) work for public consultation at the relevant archive or library.
An individually negotiated topic (MHY7011) may be made available by agreement with the course co-ordinator to accommodate students with research interests outside these areas.
Public History Internship (MHY7077) Semester 2 (Jan-June)
This module is provided as an alternative to MHY7025 (Historical Documents and Sources). Students studying for an MA in Modern or Irish History will be offered an opportunity to undertake an internship in public history in a local cultural institution during semester 2. This aims to allow students relate their academic studies to a practical setting and to give them some experience of a work-place environment. More details >>
5. Dissertation (MHY7010: Double module)
The MA or strand co-ordinator will encourage you to identify your dissertation proposal and arrange a suitable supervisor to advise on research and writing. The dissertation must not exceed 20,000 words in total length, be drawn from primary sources, and have a suitable scholarly apparatus. Full-time students must submit their dissertation by mid September. Dissertations will be supervised by academic staff with research interests related to your chosen MA strand. Candidates who pass the assessment for the four taught modules but who fail to submit a dissertation, or who submit an unsatisfactory dissertation, may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma.
Part-time students take MHY7035 (semester 1) and MHY7045/MHY7056/MHY7076/MHY7078/MHY7011 (semester 2) in their first year; MHY7020 (semester 1) and MHY7025/MHY7011 (semester 2) in their second year, and submit their dissertation by 1 May in their third year (a total study period of 31 months).