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HI2E4-15 Research Project

Undergraduate Level 2
Module leader
Pierre Purseigle
Credit value
Module duration
11 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This 15 CATS second-year module is compulsory for all single-honours History students, and is not available to students of other courses.

Module web page

Module aims
  • To embed students in the research culture of the department
  • To develop research and communication skills
  • To instil a sense of intellectual curiosity, initiative, and creativity
  • To provide training in the use of primary sources to develop a research project in preparation for the final year dissertation
  • To explore and interrogate the wide range of sources (textual, visual, material culture, film, oral history) for the purposes of historical research
  • To give students the opportunity to present their research in both oral and written formats
  • To develop students’ confidence in the use of digital tools to present their research
Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Lecture/workshop (all students on course). These will be either: a) discussions with a group of staff about how/why they use different types of sources b) workshops on practical issues :

  1. Introduction to the Research Project
  2. Written sources
  3. Visual sources
  4. Other sources e.g. Material culture /oral history
  5. Quantitative sources
  6. Reading week
  7. Archives / MRC
  8. Library
  9. Digital Storytelling
  10. Academic Writing and Presenting

Seminar: These will be grounded in analysis of primary sources but will also cover research and writing skills. Students will be asked to bring their own sources (e.g. from a database) each week, in order to encourage independent learning and enable them to focus on their area of interest.

  1. Introduction to historical research and historiography (Library session)
  2. Written sources
  3. Visual sources
  4. Other sources
  5. Quantitative / data sources
  6. Reading week
  7. Research and writing skills (close reading of primary sources)
  8. Research and writing skills (integrating and finding secondary literature)
  9. Research and writing skills (formulating a question, referencing and writing)
  10. Research and writing skills (putting the research project together)
  11. Student presentations
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of sources for the study of an aspect of history.
  • Communicate ideas and findings, adapting to a range of situations, audiences and degrees of complexity.
  • Generate ideas through the analysis of a broad range of primary source material.
  • Analyse and evaluate the contributions made by existing scholarship.
  • Act with limited supervision and direction within defined guidelines, accepting responsibility for achieving deadlines.
Indicative reading list

Primary Sources

  • Modern Records Centre Archives
  • Warwick Records Office Archives
  • Early Modern English Books Online
  • American Newspapers Archive
  • The Old Bailey Online
  • Nineteenth-century British Newspapers
  • Illustrated London News
  • British Parliamentary Papers
  • British History Online
  • Web Gallery of Art
  • A full list of databases available via the library can be found here:

Secondary Sources

  • Black, Jeremy, and Donald M. MacRaild, Studying History, 3rd ed. (Basingstoke, 2007)
  • Davies, Martin, Doing A Successful Research Project (Basingstoke, 2007)
  • Gunn, Simon, and Lucy Faire (eds), Research Methods for History (Edinburgh, 2011)
  • McDowell, W. H., Historical Research: A Guide (London, 2002)
  • Storey, William Kelleher, Writing History: A Guide for Students, 3rd ed. (Oxford, 2008)
  • Swetnam, Derek, Writing Your Dissertation, 3rd ed. (Oxford, 2000)

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Subject specific skills

See learning outcomes.

Transferable skills

See learning outcomes.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Seminars 10 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Tutorials 1 session of 1 hour (1%)
Private study 130 hours (87%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

History modules require students to undertake extensive independent research and reading to prepare for seminars and assessments. As a rough guide, students will be expected to read and prepare to comment on three substantial texts (articles or book chapters) for each seminar taking approximately 3 hours. Each assessment requires independent research, reading around 6-10 texts and writing and presenting the outcomes of this preparation in an essay, review, presentation or other related task.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A2
Weighting Study time
Research Project 90%
Seminar contribution 10%
Feedback on assessment
  • written feedback on essay cover sheets \r\n- student/tutor dialogues in one-to-one tutorials \r\n- peer feedback during workshops


This module is Core for:

  • UHIA-V100 Undergraduate History
    • Year 2 of V100 History
    • Year 2 of V100 History

This module is Core optional for:

  • UHIA-V100 Undergraduate History
    • Year 2 of V100 History
    • Year 2 of V100 History

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 2 of UENA-VQ32 Undergraduate English and History

This module is Option list A for:

  • Year 2 of UHIA-V1V5 Undergraduate History and Philosophy

This module is Option list B for:

  • UHIA-VM11 Undergraduate History and Politics
    • Year 2 of VM11 History and Politics
    • Year 2 of VM11 History and Politics
    • Year 2 of VM11 History and Politics

This module is Option list C for:

  • Year 2 of UHIA-VL13 Undergraduate History and Sociology