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Academic Year 2023/2024

History Today (HIS21140)

Arts & Humanities
2 (Intermediate)
Module Coordinator:
Dr Sandra Scanlon
Mode of Delivery:
On Campus
Internship Module:
How will I be graded?
Letter grades

Curricular information is subject to change.

This is a module that explores the place of history in society. It looks at how historians work and how this work fits into the modern world. Historians have adopted a variety of different approaches to their studies and have often disagreed about the causes, meanings, and implications of certain historical events. For some, the pursuit of history has been a truth-seeking exercise, based on empirical evidence and objectivity. For others, ideas about the past have been shaped by political beliefs, by the application of political ideologies and philosophies, popular culture and by the desire to produce a more inclusive version of history, focusing on the experience of the working classes, women, racial minorities, and other groups marginalised in established accounts. This module examines how the writing of history has evolved over time and also assesses how individuals, communities, states, nations and institutions use history for their own ends. It asks how history is used, and is consumed, by the public. It asks, also, what informs people’s attitude to the past? Is it shaped by the history of historians? How and why do we remember the past? When and why do we invoke history? If historical memory evolves, what forces tend to influence it? Ultimately, what is the function of history and historians in wider society today?

About this Module

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this module should be able to:1. Demonstrate an understanding of diverse academic viewpoints and methodologies;2. Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the role of history outside academia; 3. Assess the importance of history and its uses in wider society; 4. Analyse how history is used by states, institutions and entrepreneurs; 5. Be familiar with the historiography and techniques public history;6. Demonstrate a knowledge of research skills that are fundamental to historical inquiry and more broadly applicable;7. Submit written work appropriate to a Stage Two student of History.

Indicative Module Content:

The module will be drawn from the following main topics:
1. The history of History.
2. New histories and new challenges.
3. Gender and sexuality.
4. History from below.
5. Children, animals, and the environment.
6. Race and ethnicity.
7. Imperialism and post-colonialism
8. Inventing the past.
9. Global history.
10. Commemoration.

Student Effort Hours:
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module combines a recorded on-line, with an online weekly seminar. The seminars - through Discussion Boards - provide an overview of weekly topics, with focus upon key historical trends, debates and events. The seminars also focus on small-group active / task-based learning using both secondary and primary sources related to the weekly topic covered in the lecture. Autonomous learning is nurtured through required preparatory reading each week, and a summative written assignment. Key research, historiographical and presentation skills are explicitly incorporated into seminar work.

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Participation in class exercises Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: 1,500 word essay Week 10 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Mid-term assignment Week 7 n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components

Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 

Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on the end-of-semester Essay Assignment will be given in writing.

Name Role
Dr Susannah Riordan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer