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Course overview

(Postgraduate Certificate) Postgraduate Certificate
University of Essex
University of Essex
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate Certificate
Full-time or part-time
CER V10009

We will consider applications with an overall grade of 2:2 and above.

IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

External Examiners

Dr Paul Corthorn
Queen's University Belfast
Senior Lecturer in Modern British History

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 HR935-7-AU Research Methods in History Core 20
02 History option from list Optional 20
03 History option from list Optional 20
04 History option from list Optional 20
05 History option from list Optional 20

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

The Programme aims to:

P.1 stimulate the historical imagination of students through a critical engagement with the past.

P.2 provide students with an advanced understanding of the methods and techniques of the historical discipline, based on a critical awareness of current problems and scholarship at the forefront of the field.

P.3 allow students to develop a critical awareness of selected sub-fields of History with respect to their relevant social, cultural, political and economic contexts.

P.4 encourage students to develop critical, analytical and research skills, problem- solving skills, and transferable skills, appropriate to the study of History.

P.5 prepare students for further study and/or employment through the development of their knowledge and abilities.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Demonstrate substantial knowledge and critical understanding of the broad themes of historical analysis, including continuity and change, the specificity of particular historical processes, and the 'otherness' of the past.
A2 Demonstrate substantial knowledge and critical understanding of the models used by the discipline to conceptualise and analyse change in past societies.
A3 Demonstrate substantial knowledge and critical understanding of some key historical sources available for historical research.
A4 Demonstrate substantial knowledge and critical understanding of some selected topics of history.
Learning Methods: A1- A4 are acquired through seminars where there is an emphasis on group discussion and which allow for dynamic interaction based on directed pre-set reading.

Throughout students are encouraged to develop their knowledge through independent, self-directed research and reading.
Assessment Methods: Testing the knowledge-base for A1-A4 is through essays.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 A student should be able to identify accurately issues which require researching.
B2 A student should be able to assemble information from a variety of sources, and discern and establish connections.
B3 A student should be able to synthesise and evaluate primary and secondary information.
B4 A student should be able to rank and collate items and issues in terms of relevance and importance.
B5 A student should be able to critically evaluate the merits of conflicting arguments and advanced scholarship in the field.
B6 A student should be able to present and make a reasoned choice between alternative solutions or methodologies and, where appropriate, propose new interpretations or hypotheses.
B7 A student should be able to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, or conflicting evidence, and communicate their conclusions clearly
B8 A student should be able to demonstrate independence of thought where appropriate.
Learning Methods: Intellectual/cognitive skills B1-B8 are obtained and developed through seminars, where there is an emphasis on group discussion and an analysis of original material and historical problems.

All skills are further developed by the course work.

Skill B1 is fostered in particular through student formulation of their own essay topics in consultation with the course tutor/supervisor.
Assessment Methods: Intellectual/cognitive skills B1-B8 are assessed via essays

C: Practical skills

C1 A student should be able to identify, select and retrieve a wide range of relevant source material.
C2 A student should be able to design, use and reflect on various research/study techniques.
C3 A student should be able to interpret qualitative material.
C4 A student should be able to compose extended bibliographies, using relevant reference systems according to established conventions.
Learning Methods: Skills C1-C4 are developed through research for the course essays, and by feedback and discussions with tutors on written work.

They are also developed specifically through preparation for tutorials and the medium of group interactive classes in HR935 (Research Methods in History).
Assessment Methods: Practical skills C1-C4 are assessed via essays.

D: Key skills

D1 A student should be able to i) work with the English language proficiently in relation to matters pertinent to the historical discipline; ii) present knowledge or an argument in a clear, coherent and relevant manner; iii) analyse materials that are complex and/or technical.
D2 A student should be able to use appropriate IT where relevant for research and presentation purposes (including searchable databases such as library catalogues and internet sources, and word processing).
D4 A student should be able to analyse a reasonably complex set of data and apply relevant explanatory models thereto.
D6 A student should be able to i) with limited guidance, to reflect on his or her own learning, and to seek and make use of feedback; ii) to appreciate when s/he does not know enough and needs to undertake further research.
Learning Methods: Key skills D1-D6 are acquired through tutorials where students debate historical issues and problems.

Skill D1 ii) can in addition be obtained through the University’‘s online essay writing tutorial at:

Skills D1-6 will be learnt through writing assessed and formative coursework and consequent feedback, both written and that obtained in oral sessions.

Skill D2 can be obtained in particular through preparation for tutorials and the medium of group interactive classes in HR935 (Research Methods in History).
Assessment Methods: Skills D1-D6 are assessed through essays.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, 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 courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: