Research Project

The details
Philosophical, Historical, and Interdisciplinary Studies (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
26 September 2023


Requisites for this module
EC831, GV831, GV832, GV836



Key module for

BA V100 History,
BA V101 History (Including Year Abroad),
BA V102 History (Including Foundation Year),
BA V103 History (Including Placement Year),
MHISV199 History,
MHISZV98 History (Including Placement Year),
MHISZV99 History (Including Year Abroad),
BA MV91 History and Criminology,
BA MV92 History and Criminology (Including Placement Year),
BA MV98 History and Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA MV9C History and Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LV11 History and Economics,
BA LV18 History and Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BA V1L1 History and Economics (Including Placement Year),
BA VL11 History and Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BA QV21 History and Literature,
BA QV22 History and Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA QV2C History and Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA VQ12 History and Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA LV31 History and Sociology,
BA LV32 History and Sociology (Including Placement Year),
BA LV38 History and Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA LV3C History and Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA V1W6 History with Film Studies,
BA V1W7 History with Film Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA V1W8 History with Film Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA V1WP History with Film Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA V1L2 History with Human Rights,
BA V1L8 History with Human Rights (Including Foundation Year),
BA V1LF History with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA V1LG History with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA V140 Modern History,
BA V144 Modern History (Including Foundation Year),
BA V148 Modern History (Including Placement Year),
BA V149 Modern History (Including Year Abroad),
BA VL12 Modern History and International Relations,
BA VL14 Modern History and International Relations (Including Placement Year),
BA VL18 Modern History and International Relations (Including Foundation Year),
BA VL1F Modern History and International Relations (Including Year Abroad),
BA V200 History and Heritage,
BA V201 History and Heritage (Including Foundation Year),
BA V202 History and Heritage (including Placement Year),
BA V203 History and Heritage (including Year Abroad),
BA VM10 History and Law,
BA VM11 History and Law (Including Foundation Year),
BA VM12 History and Law (including Placement Year),
BA VM13 History and Law (including Year Abroad)

Module description

You've spent years studying History – now is the opportunity to off your skills as a historian. The History Research Project is the culmination of the degree scheme. Building on and extending the skills developed in the earlier parts of the degree, you will contribute to historical knowledge and understanding through conducting independent research on a topic of your choice.

You will have the opportunity to choose how you want to present your research. You can choose to submit an 8,000-word dissertation or a 5,000-word research report plus a public history output such as a podcast, web resources, or film script that showcases historical research for a non-academic audience. Whichever route you choose, you will be supported by the expert guidance of an academic supervisor who will help you to identify and analyse primary sources, place these in the context of secondary sources, and understand your topic in relation to wider themes and debates.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To communicate ideas and arguments effectively, whether verbally or in writing, in an accurate, succinct and lucid manner.

  • To identify and analyse different types of primary sources.

  • To understand historical arguments as presented in secondary scholarship.

  • To negotiate between primary and secondary sources in formulating historical argument.

  • To formulate and justify arguments and conclusions about a range of issues, and present appropriate supporting evidence,

  • To use a range of resources to assist with information retrieval and assignment presentation.

  • To manage their time effectively and independently organise their workloads.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Identify an appropriate area of historical, historiographical or conceptual enquiry.

  2. Conduct a search for materials and sources relevant to their chosen area and produce a preliminary bibliography.

  3. Devise and, in the light of subsequent research, modify a plan of the dissertation. Students will develop the ability to critically analyse examine primary sources.

  4. Evaluate and engage critically with relevant historiographies.

  5. Integrate their understanding and analyses of primary and secondary evidence in coherent discussions of their chosen topic.

  6. Formulate and justify their own arguments and conclusions based on a detailed analysis of primary and secondary sources.

  7. Deliver an assessed ten-minute presentation on an aspect of their research, and afterwards take questions from their peers.

  8. Present, accurately, succinctly and lucidly, their arguments in forms appropriate to their intended audience(s).

  9. Organise their time effectively to work independently.

Module information

Introductory Reading

  • Jules R. Benjamin, A Student's Guide to History (9th edition, Boston, 2004), especially chapter 4 and appendices.

  • Jeremy Black and Donald M. MacRaild, Studying History (3rd edition, Macmillan, 2007), especially chapter 9 on writing a dissertation.

  • Stella Cottrell, Dissertations and Project Reports. A Step By Step Guide (Palgrave Study Skills (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

  • Simon Gunn and Lucy Faire (eds), Research Methods for History (2nd edition, Edinburgh University Press, 2016).

  • Tracey Loughran (ed.), A Practical Guide to Studying History. Skills and Approaches (Bloomsbury, 2017).

  • Colin Robson, How to Do a Research Project. A Guide for Undergraduate Students (2nd edition, Wiley, 2014.)

  • Gary Thomas, Doing Research (Palgrave Pocket Study Skills, 2nd edition, 2017).

  • Gary Thomas, How to do your Research Project. A Guide for Students (3rd edition, Sage Publications, 017).

  • Kate Williams, Planning Your Dissertation (Palgrave Pocket Study Skills, 2013).

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • Six 50-minute lectures.
  • Three 20-minute workshops.

All Module information will be available via Moodle. Key readings will be digitised an available on Talis Aspire.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Supervisor Allocation Form    0% 
Coursework   Title, Research Questions, Bibliography, Primary sources and Timetable (week 9)    0% 
Coursework   Assessed presentation     15% 
Coursework   Draft Chapter (2000 words)    0% 
Coursework   Research Project Final    85% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Nadine Rossol, email:
History UG Administrators:



External examiner

Dr Miriam Dobson
University of Sheffield
Available via Moodle
Of 828 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
828 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.