School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

MHY7020 - Becoming a Historian

MHY7020 - Becoming a Historian

What is this course about?

This team-taught course examines the techniques of historical research and writing, methods of bibliographical research, use of archives and electronic resources, footnoting, the handling of quantitative and non-quantitative evidence (including oral and material sources), and practical writing, reviewing and editing skills. We collaborate with archival experts at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and Queen’s Library Special Collections in teaching this course, which involves field trips to archival repositories.

'Becoming a Historian' is intended to prepare you for the demands of the MA dissertation, and we will encourage you to choose topics for practical research exercises which may be related to your potential dissertation theme. As part of the course you will also be encouraged to engage with and reflect on the research culture of the University, especially through participation in the range of historical and interdisciplinary research seminars hosted by Queen’s. The course ends with a workshop devoted specifically to identifying and planning a viable research dissertation.

How is this course taught and assessed?

'Becoming a Historian' is taught through weekly seminars held at Queen’s or PRONI. These are led by members of the course team.

Assessment is by course work related to the techniques of historical research including the creation of a bibliography, archival searches and book reviews.

What can I read in advance?

There are no core texts for this module, but the following introductory guides to historical practice and method are recommended:

• L. Jordanova, History in practice (London: Arnold, 2000)
• W.H. McDowell, Historical research: a guide (London: Longman, 2002)
• R.A. Marius and M.E. Page, A short guide to writing about history (London: Longman, 2005)
• J. Tosh, The pursuit of history: aims, methods and new directions in the study of modern history  (London: Longman, 2002).