HI5030 - Debating History

What will I learn on this module?

This module will introduce you to the main themes in Western historiography since the late nineteenth century (broadly speaking, the professional era). Within a largely chronological framework, the first half of the module will introduce you to significant approaches to the study of history, including empiricism, the Whig interpretation, Marxist approaches, cultural history, the postmodern approach, and the transnational turn. The second half of the module examines key historiographical controversies, enabling students to engage deeply with examples of the ways in which historians disagree and debate key concepts in history (for example, factors influencing historical change).

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through weekly lectures in the first semester that provide broad overviews of historiographical themes and concepts. In addition, weekly seminars will offer you the opportunity to engage with some of these themes and/or concepts in a more detailed manner. In the second semester the delivery pattern changes. In the first semester you will still have one lecture and seminar every week, but will have more guided and independent study time to work on the assessment due. Where the first semester emphasises breadth of coverage, the second offers the opportunity for students to develop an in-depth understanding of certain key historiographical controversies, delivered through weekly 1.5 hr seminars.

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 office 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 workshop 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 an understanding of major themes in modern Western historiography.
2. Exhibit an awareness of major concepts and issues associated with the nature and character of history.
3. Demonstrate an advanced ability to consider the importance of debate and historiography in written form.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. Demonstrate the acquisition of numerous skills including the ability to make independent critical judgments, handle a variety of historical theories and apply various historical concepts when appropriate.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Critically evaluate conflicting positions in significant debates or controversies.

How will I be assessed?

Your knowledge and understanding of history and historiography, your ability to analyse and critically discuss theories, their assumptions and application, and present a variety of evidence will be tested in two pieces of written work.

The two essays (each of them 2,500 words long and weighted 50%) will span the breadth of the module’s coverage: one on historiography and one on historical controversies.
MLOs 1-5.

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. 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 historiography and allow you to form your own understanding of historical interpretations.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code V100

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023 or September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy