HIS-30103 - Dissertation for History - ISP
Coordinator: Alannah Tomkins Room: CBB1.055 Tel: +44 1782 7 33465
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 30
Study Hours: 300
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

This History Independent Study Project module allows you to produce your own piece of independent historical research, guided by a supervisor who will be a world-leading expert in the field. You have two options. The first is a dissertation, of between 8,000 and 10,000 words, which will often be linked to a semester-one History programme elective but this is a matter for negotiation with your supervisor. The second is a website in which you present your original research in a way that speaks to a wider public audience. Websites will remain offline during the assessment process. You will be provided with a website template and training. No computer programming skills are required. Alongside the website you will write a Research Report that explains your research topic, methodology, engagement with public history and strategy for engaging a wider audience with your findings. The total word count of the website and report will be 8,000-10,000 words.
The ISP will allow you to engage in personalised research, into questions or source genres of interest to you. The very best dissertations are of publishable quality and are submissible to national prize competitions. Keele students have been successful in the past in the History Today competition, and the Maritime History competition. Excellent websites may be made available online after the assessment period subject to obtaining the appropriate ethical/copyright clearances. Successful completion of the ISP will represent a substantial piece of final-year undergraduate work that will facilitate entry to a postgraduate course and/or demonstrate writing and research skills relevant to a number of different careers. It should also give you considerable satisfaction; the dissertation is often the History module that people enjoy the most during their three year degree programme.

To demonstrate the ability to formulate, execute, and complete an independent extended piece of research with appropriate supervision, exploring some historical or historiographical problem.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

identify and critically analyse a range of primary sources appropriate to the topic: 1
formulate a question or series of questions to answer an historical problem: 1
relate the particular study to the wider field of scholarship: 1
plan and manage a substantial piece of research in a recognised area of historical scholarship: 1
produce an extended, structured piece of writing with appropriate scholarly apparatus: 1
place primary sources in their historiographical context: 1

Study hours

Active Learning 10 hours:
Workshops 6 hours
Presentation session 2 hours
Individual supervision 2 hours
Independent Study 290 hours:
Research 180 hours
Preparation for presentation 10 hours
Writing plan 30 hours
Writing dissertation 55 hours
Polishing &proof-reading 15 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Assignment weighted 100%
Dissertation OR Website and Report
(One) Dissertation: Students will produce a substantial piece of written work of 8,000-10,000 words, on a research topic chosen by the student in consultation with their supervisor. The dissertation will normally be subdivided into an introduction, conclusion and an appropriate number of chapters, accompanied by appropriate scholarly notes and bibliography. (Two) Website and Report: As with the dissertation students will pick a research topic in consultation with their supervisor. Students will populate a Wordpress website template with their original research in a way that speaks to a wider public audience using text supplemented by a mixture of images, graphs, podcasts, videos or other media. They will also write a Research Report that explains a. their research topic, b. research methodology, c. understanding of public history and d. how they have geared their research to engage a wider public audience with their findings using a website. The website should be concise and accessible to a general readership, therefore the relative sizes of these two sections should be agreed with the supervisor in advance to produce a total of 8,000-10,000 words.