Intended Learning Outcomes


Knowledge and understanding

By graduation, students completing a Diploma or a MA in History will have developed:

  • A critical understanding of the significance of historiographical developments since the professionalisation of the discipline and their relevance to a student's specialist area of study.
  • A comprehensive understanding of the epistemological and methodological distinctiveness of history as a discipline, and an ability to reflect on the significance of the influence of other disciplines on the development of historical method.
  • A conceptual understanding that enables the student to evaluate critically scholarly writing in history and to undertake informed source-criticism.

In addition, students achieving the award of MA will have:

  • Achieved a personal understanding of whether or not they possess the ability, motivation and interest to pursue further postgraduate study in History.


Skills and other attributes

Students achieving both awards will have developed:

  • The ability to reflect deeply on historical knowledge and to demonstrate an awareness of current historical debates.
  • The ability to write and speak about the past in good English, showing an awareness of History as a literary discipline and a developing sense of literary style.
  • The ability to use a wide range of bibliographical tools (on paper and in electronic form) to locate and critically evaluate appropriate sources and materials for the advanced study of history.
  • The ability to locate and critically evaluate archival, printed or electronic source-material for the investigation of specific historical questions.
  • The ability to formulate and sustain independent historical arguments, to provide appropriate evidence to support them, including quantitative and visual evidence, and to reference the sources of the evidence used.
  • The ability to respond constructively to debate and criticism.
  • Effective skills in oral communication to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • skills in effective time management, including the ability to work productively alone.
  • Familiarity with a variety of ICT skills, encompassing a range of bibliographical, statistical and other computer programmes and their application, as well as electronic sources for research.


In addition, students achieving the award of MA will have developed:

  • The ability to identify an area of historical enquiry and engage in independent historical research.
  • The ability to engage in independent and extended research within a defined area of historical enquiry, to construct and sustain a logical and where possible original argument based on information collected, and to present the findings in dissertation form, with a recognised historical apparatus.