HI7005 - History in the Digital Age: Institutions, Issues and Ideas

What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will learn about the advantages and potential pitfalls of doing History in the digital age. In doing so, you will develop skills that are essential for postgraduate research. The module develops your understanding of the relationship between planning research (formulating research questions, considering methodology), doing research (using a range of digital and traditional investigative techniques) and reflecting upon research (data handling and organization, the politics and ethics of research and reflective practice for writing). The module is designed to prepare you to collect, interpret and disseminate research as a means of supporting all of the modules that you take at Masters level. Crucially, the module equips you with the conceptual tools needed to approach your extended research project, the dissertation.

Throughout the module, you will consider the advantages and disadvantages of studying History in the 21st century. You will consider the historical, cultural and political role of archives, libraries and museums, but also the way in which digitized sources, digital research tool and the internet are shaping the nature of research. You will reflect on how digital methods differ from more traditional forms of historical enquiry, and how you, as a historian, can best use new technologies to develop your work.

How will I learn on this module?

If you are an on-site student, you will learn through seminars, which will be guided by an academic tutor, but will be student-led. Seminars will promote group work and further discussion of the major themes under review. Each seminar will include time for you to tackle the topic under review in a ‘hands-on’ way. If you are studying the module by distance learning, you will learn by reading and contributing to the weekly discussion boards. 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 eTivities, 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) and through written comments on the assignments.

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 with 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, lectures, 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?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the range of digital technologies available for researching and analysing history.
2. Exhibit expert awareness of how digital tools and other more traditional forms of historical methodology can advance your research agenda.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Critically reflect on how to accurately create, collate, manage, and disseminate traditional and digital versions of historical sources
4. Display an advanced level of digital literacy and informed awareness of how technology is changing the nature of research.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate an ability to reflect on experience and feedback, critically assessing how to continuously improve.

How will I be assessed?

There are three assessments:
• 1 essay, 2,500 words, weighted 35% [MLOs 1, 3, 4]
• 1 x digital review, 2,500 words, weighted 35% [MLOs 1-4]
• 1 x reflective essay, 2,000 words, weighted 30% [MLOs 2, 5]

The assessments are designed 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.

As an on-site student, you will have the opportunity to present your work in the seminars and will receive formative feedback from your lecturer in classroom discussions, debates, and tutorial sessions. As a distance-learner, you will complete a series of eTivities which involve online discussions and facilitate feedback from a tutor and your peers.

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 digital history and research methods





Module abstract

What does it mean to ‘do’ History in the digital age? This module will help you answer this question and, in doing so, forms an essential part of your training as a postgraduate History student. In this module, we will consider how information has been stored and knowledge been organised, drawing attention to the role of libraries, archives and museums as both repositories and conduits. You will consider these institutions through a series of case studies, covering different time periods, places and approaches. Following on from this, the module familiarizes you with an exciting range of digital tools and current research projects that make use of them. The final section of this module helps you make a direct link to your own dissertation research, allowing you to reflect on your past experience and to plan your next steps.

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.


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