Faculty of Arts

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitHistory
OfferedClayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Ruth Morgan


This unit functions as an advanced introduction into the world of historical research. It introduces students to some of the common problems and issues as well as key debates that confront all historians working with different types of primary sources. It explores the many ways in which the past is constructed through the production of history by challenging students to think about what history is, how different lenses inform our reading and making of histories, how and where different genres of primary sources can be found for a resourceful historian of the 21st century, and how these sources can best be used in shaping an intellectually rigorous dissertation.


On successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Have a deep understanding of the key debates that have taken place on the nature of history as a practice up until the present day
  2. Recognise the different theoretical approaches or lenses (such as Marxist or Feminist) through which historians make history, and reconcile that with their own approaches to writing history
  3. Develop the capacity to identify and access various repositories (such as digital libraries) to locate primary sources for their research
  4. Become familiar with good practice in organising their primary sources, such as note-taking strategies, and reading and using different types of primary sources effectively in their work
  5. Develop an understanding of how to use quantitative sources effectively in history-writing, as well as how to effectively make quantitative judgements in their research
  6. Have an appreciation of how archival sources, material culture, autobiographical sources, and audio-visual sources can be used effectively in research
  7. Have further developed their oral and written communication skills


Written assessment (100%)

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2-hour seminar per week