HST6802: Research Presentation

Research Presentation Image

15 credits (Semester: Spring)

Module Leader 2019-20: Professor Mike Braddick

Module Summary

This core module is designed to equip you with the skills and experience that you need to present and communicate a defined historical research project to an academic audience. The subject of the presentation will be your dissertation topic and so this module will also contribute towards the successful completion of your dissertation. Students completing the Diploma qualification will relate their presentation to one of their option modules.

In this module you will identify specific research questions and learn what sources and approaches you can use to answer such questions. You will develop your ability to handle research data (in terms of presenting them in an accessible form to an audience) and will enhance your ability to use presentational aids such as PowerPoint, data projection, and visual aids. The module also seeks to develop skill and confidence in speaking to an audience and responding to questions and gives you the opportunity to develop the presentational skills demanded by employers as well as by a career in academic research.

Module aims

This module aims to equip MA students in history with the generic skills necessary to present a defined research project to an academic audience, identifying specific research questions and explaining what sources and approaches you can use to answer such questions. The module will provide an opportunity you to communicate your research findings to an audience made up of both specialists and non-specialists and looks to enhance skills and confidence in self-presentation, so furthering the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, a candidate will be able to demonstrate an ability to:

  1. Make an oral presentation to an audience of specialists and non-specialists, including both fellow MA students and academic staff;
  2. Define a specific research project in an accessible way;
  3. Identify and communicate research questions, so engaging the attention of an audience;
  4. Make effective use of visual and technical aids, including, where appropriate, data projection;
  5. Respond to questions in an informed and appropriate manner;
  6. Make reasoned and critical judgements of the oral performance of their peers;
  7. Make reasoned and critical judgements of their own oral presentation.


Learning hours
Seminar hours Tutorial hours Problem solving/example classes Independent Learning
4 3 3 140

This module is taught in four, one-hour seminars. Tutorials include specific academic office hour and technical drop in sessions. Problem solving/example classes are delivered through a practise session.

A formal seminar will be held at the start of the module to introduce the learning outcomes and familiarise students with the task ahead. This seminar will also cover the practicalities of research presentation, introduce technical aids as necessary, and allow you to consider how they might structure a presentation: whether it is feasible to cover an entire dissertation project for example, or how such a project might be broken down into topics suitable for an oral presentation. 

There will then be three workshops which will cover the key elements of effective research presentations. In the first of these, we will consider structure and how to pitch your presentation at an appropriate level; the second workshop will address the use of visual aids like Powerpoint; and in the final session we will discuss delivery styles and how best to engage your audience. Academic support will be available for these sessions as necessary but their purpose is to allow you to try out different aspects of your presentations before a small audience of their peers, respond to questions in an informal and supportive environment, experiment with technical and visual aids, and familiarise yourself with equipment and a venue similar to the one in which you will speak.

These sessions will therefore encourage a professional standard of presentation. They will also help you to develop some expertise in academic paper-giving ahead of the postgraduate conference day when you will give your own presentations and evaluate those given by your peers.



Assessment methods
Assessment % of final mark Length
Oral presentation 100% 10 minute presentation plus Q&A

The presentations will be given within the context of the MA Presentation Day to an audience of both specialist and non-specialist academic staff and postgraduate students. The day is structured as an academic conference, with speakers attached to specific panels, chaired by a member of staff and running in parallel sessions.

Each presentation is evaluated by those who hear it – both the academic panel and the audience. Audience members mark different aspects of the presentation (for example, historical content; delivery and communication of identifiable research questions including response to questions) on a scale of one to four. The academic panel is made up of three members of staff, who will also mark each presentation on the above criteria on the standard 100 point scale. The final panel marks and the average marks from the audience combine to give the final mark for each category. Audience evaluation will contribute 25%, with the panel evaluation providing the remaining 75%. Marks for content are double weighted.



*The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.