Public history experience
We have a range of option modules focusing on aspects of public history. These modules are available across all of our degree programmes and are designed specifically to provide you with the opportunity to reflect on the role of history in the public sphere and enable you to develop different kinds of transferable skills and experience. These can be especially valuable for those considering a career in history outside of academia.
There are also options available from other departments in the Faculty that allow you to focus on digital humanities; public engagement and heritage, community and identity.
The module will give you an insight into the day to day workings of, for example, a museum; heritage site; archive; school or research institute and help you develop history-specific vocational skills. You will gain practical experience of the application of historical skills and knowledge outside of academia and be encouraged to reflect on the challenges involved in disseminating historical knowledge and understanding in a public context.
Placements vary from year to year but there is always a comparable range of projects on offer across a variety of organisations. You will complete a placement application form indicating your preferred placements as part of the registration process. Once your placement is confirmed, you will negotiate your specific role with the work placement partner.
|Examples of placements and projects||
Historical and Heritage Sites
Museums and Galleries
Please note that schools projects tend to focus on curriculum and approaches to teaching rather than providing practical teaching experience
Archives and Libraries
Public History, Community & Industry Engagement
Placement booklets from the last two years are also available to download on the right.
This module focuses on the interpretation and creation of 'public history'. It enables you to reflect on the challenges involved in disseminating history outside academia including writing for the 'public'; sound and vision; and digital history. You will develop critical skills in interrogating public history through analaysis of examples as well as communication and presentation skills for non-academic audiences by working as part of a group to develop your own project and create an example of a public history output.
Students have in the past created websites; mobile apps; blogs; twitter feeds; poster displays; films; video and oral interviews; interactive exhibitions often using a combination of these media. Optional workshops will help you to develop the necessary skills in basic web design; multimedia production and editing as well as 3D modelling to enable the creation of virtual exhibitions.
This module may be of particular interest if planning to pursue careers in heritage, museums or education.
|Examples of projects||
This module gives you the opportunity to develop your historical writing skills for non-academic audiences.
The focus is on practical work allowing you to prepare drafts of print and online features such as articles for journals, online magazines and blogs; non-fictional prose and scripts for television and radio ahead of submitting your final assessment, which can be in the form of one extended written piece or a portfolio of shorter articles.
You will develop the skills to critically evaluate history-writing in a range of media and to reflect on the differences between academic and other types of history-writing - through considering professional history-writing produced for different audiences and in different media and peer review - and develop your communication and presentation skills for 'public' audiences.
* Please note that the course details set out here may change before you start, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the course start date. The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is current and relevant. Individual modules may be updated or withdrawn in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, curriculum review, staff availability, and variations in student numbers. In the event of a material change the University will inform students in good time and will take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.