HI7001 - Historical Contexts

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn how to identify the intellectual, social, and cultural contexts that inform advanced research in historical studies. The module trains you in the skills necessary to compile historiographical material and develop theoretical knowledge about the past, including contextual analysis, source scrutiny, and understanding the ever-changing state of the historical field. These skills have major implications for your research. Most importantly, you will explore the methods and critical theories that define the study of your particular field of history. Thus, your curiosity and inquisitiveness underpin the direction of assessment. You will need to collect, sift, and analyse the secondary sources that dominate the historical understanding of your research topic. The module provides an overview of the ways in which historical writing has changed over time, and considers how theory and conceptual thinking has influenced historians. You will also learn how the historiography has developed in relation to your own research topic.

How will I learn on this module?

As an on-site student, you will learn through seminars, directed by an academic tutor, but students will also be expected to use the sessions to consider how their individual research topics relate to broader historiographical turns. Each session is led by a subject specialist, who will introduce and contextualise a historiographical problem that will be the focus for weekly intellectual exchange. Seminars will promote group work and further discussion of the major themes under review.

If you are studying the module by distance learning, you will learn by reading and contributing to the weekly discussion boards and activities. You will be expected to prepare by undertaking selected reading relating to the weekly theme, and online discussions will enable you to build on the independent reading you have done beforehand. As the module progresses you will also complete a series of e-tivities, which will complement your learning and understanding of the module themes. You will receive feedback that will encourage and facilitate your learning: this will occur both informally (via the discussion board and other conversations with tutors) and through written comments on the assignments.

All learning materials, tasks and readings will be posted on the eLearning Portal (Blackboard) and online reading list to enable participation within the seminar programme. You will participate in formative assessment activities and receive feedback, and will be responsible for your own guided and independent learning. Summative assessment will complete the learning against the learning outcomes for the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported through engagement with your peers, academic tutors, and programme leaders. Academic support is provided through group/individual tutorials which allow specific issues to be addressed and to promote progress in academic development. The module tutor will be accessible within publicised feedback and consultation hours, and via email. Your peers will provide you will a collaborative learning environment, and your programme leader will guide you through the requirements and expectations of your course. You will also be supported through individual engagement with the academic literature and resources available on the eLearning Portal. Formative feedback will be on-going throughout seminar activities and through assessment tasks.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

1. Demonstrate critical understanding of the way in which scholars interpret key issues and historical method.
2. Demonstrate a knowledgeable and considered understanding of the intellectual discipline of history and how it has changed over time.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Exhibit the ability to engage with historical theories and methodologies to deepen your understanding of your chosen field of enquiry.
4. Apply knowledge and communicate your informed opinions about the evolution of historiography to challenge historical claims and arguments.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate an awareness of historical and contemporary relationships and how these relations shape our perceptions.

How will I be assessed?

There are three assessments:
• Presentation (15%) MLOs 1, 2, 4,
• 2,000 word critical review (25%) MLOs 1, 2, 4
• 4,000 word essay on historiography (60%) MLOs 1-5

The assessments are designed to both reflect the module content and to be directly relevant to the chosen field of enquiry you are taking, and will provide an intellectual framework for the dissertation taken in semesters 2 and 3.

You will have the opportunity to present your work in the seminars or discussion boards and other activities and will receive formative feedback from your lecturer in discussions, debates, and tutorial sessions. Opportunities for formative work and feedback is provided through eTivities for distance-learners and seminars for on-site students.

Formative assessment through your lecturer will be written and verbal, and you will also receive feedback through engagement with your peers who will enable you to test your explanations about the nature of historiography and historical method.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part-time
1 other options available

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy