Programme And Module Handbook
Programme Specification

Date Specification Approved 26/09/2014
College College Arts and Law
School History and Cultures
Department History
Partner College and School
Collaborative Organisation and Form of Collaboration
Qualification and Programme Title B.A. Ancient and Medieval History Full-time
Programme Code 0828
Delivery Location Campus
Language of Study English
Length of Programme 3 Year(s)
Accreditations This programme has no outside accreditations
Aims of the Programme This programme gives students the opportunity to develop their understanding of the nature and discipline of History by the specific study of the ancient and medieval History of Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean. This is achieved by analysis of the evidence and its problems (both those specific to the ancient and medieval periods and the general problems of historical sources of any period); by the study of current debates among historians of both periods about the interpretation of large-scale social change and the specific interpretative cruxes of the periods; and by analyses of several more limited time periods in the ancient and medieval worlds, based on critical reading of the primary and secondary sources. The ultimate aim is to produce graduates who have developed the ‘character of mind’ of the historian, who have an enthusiastic appreciation of the past, and who possess a wide range of reasoning, communication and organisational skills. The wide range of these and other skills acquired from this programme equips graduates to pursue further study or employment as historians, but is also readily transferable to a large number of professions and other careers.
Programme Outcomes
Students are expected to have Knowledge and Understanding of: Which will be gained through the following Teaching and Learning methods: and assessed using the following methods:
The principal trends in the political, social, economic, religious and cultural development of the ancient and medieval worlds, with primary emphasis on long-term social change
A broad body of historical information, with special attention to western Europe and The Mediterranean in the ancient and medieval periods
The problems of studying other cultures
A range of historical sources available to historians of the ancient and medieval periods (including textual, archaeological and visual evidence), and an awareness of their limitations
The historiographical development of core debates in ancient and medieval History and an appreciation of the reasons for continued controversies
The core analytical skills deployed by historians of the periods concerned, including those of interpretation, corroboration and evaluation
Conceptual, theoretical and ideological influences on historical events and on their interpretation, with particular focus on political, cultural and socio-economic development
Students study a range of core and optional modules which offer a diverse set of study opportunities at all three levels of degree work. Lectures supply and contextualise foundational information, serve to enthuse students, and direct further reading. Seminars facilitate the exploration of historical debates, allowing for evaluation of the existing historiography and/or primary source evidence, as well as encouraging students to develop their own arguments. Skills modules and dissertation preparation inculcate capacities for independent study and develop the conceptual foundations of the programme as well as methodological and analytical skills. Individual and group research projects allow students to engage with primary sources, consolidate and develop further methodological and analytical skills, and evaluate particular debates. The level I and H general seminars extend knowledge and understanding of overarching themes which cover the ancient and medieval periods.
Verification strategies employed include written coursework of varying length and type, collaborative research projects, individual and collaborative oral presentations, unseen timed examinations, and an independent dissertation research project. The programme is explicitly pluralist; a wide range of viewpoints and methodologies are tested by all of these types of assessment.
Students are expected to have attained the following Skills and other Attributes: Which will be gained through the following Teaching and Learning methods: and assessed using the following methods:
Display awareness of and empathy for historical context
Assimilate and synthesise historical evidence
Understand the process of historical validation and its limitations
Evaluate historical evidence and arguments
Draw reasoned conclusions from contested historical evidence
Formulate questions and hypotheses of interest and importance to ancient and medieval historians, including those which entail comparative analysis over time and/or space
Evaluate and apply historical concepts and models
Understand relevant concepts from social and literary theory and social and literary theory and apply them, where appropriate, to the study of ancient and medieval history
Exercise intellectual autonomy
Record information accurately and efficiently
Work confidently with elementary IT packages aimed at supporting the retrieval, storage, analysis and presentation of information
Interpret and analyse information of various formats and types, including archaeological data presented as text, figures and graphs
Identify, collect, synthesise and evaluate information from a range of sources
Plan and execute a research project both independently and as part of a group
Communicate ideas and arguments effectively both orally and in writing
Exercise disciplined imagination in response to problems
Display intellectual flexibility in the face of reasoned argument
Work effectively under time constraints
Work constructively as part of a team
Show a capacity for independent working
Display appropriate language skills
Engage in self-evaluation in order to construct and pursue individual learning goals and personal development objectives
Lectures and seminars provide opportunities to demonstrate and practice the intellectual skills specified. Documentary work at all levels develops cognitive and analytical capacities to engage critically with primary source evidence in order to evaluate historical arguments. Essays allow for a specific focus on problem-solving. Research (done both independently and as part of a group) develops interrogative skills, confidence in historical enquiry, a facility with relevant analytical concepts, and intellectual autonomy. Appropriate bibliographical guidance and support are supplied at all levels and for all modules by module convenors and/or module tutors. Skills modules at levels C and I develop recording skills and information retrieval skills. In addition students are encouraged to take advantage of training offered by the library and information services in the use of bibliographical search tools and applications for IT. Practical research and presentation skills are developed via skills modules at Levels C and I, group presentational work and dissertation preparation, as well as (in the context largely of the relevant secondary literature) seminars for knowledge-based modules. The skills required to analyse and interpret documents effectively are introduced in core level C knowledge modules, developed in level I skills modules, and practised at an advanced level in special subjects. Regular submission of written work, as well as seminar preparation and discussion, all improve reasoning, communication and organisational skills. Group presentational work has particular value in developing the skills necessary for effective teamwork. Repeated exposure to deadlines for formative and summative assessment, as well as seminar deadlines, also encourages acquisition of time-management skills. The dissertation represents the ultimate opportunity to implement and consolidate all these skills. Progress Review Tutorials provide a regular context for self-evaluation.
Verification strategies employed include written coursework of varying length and type (including essays intended to address questions related to both knowledge and methodological issues, contextualisation of documents, book reviews, and bibliographical reviews), oral reports on group presentational work, unseen timed examinations, an independent dissertation research project and the final year research dissertation. Lateral thinking, i.e. the ability to achieve synergy between all areas of knowledge, is tested by all these strategies, but most explicitly by the unseen paper in Ancient and Medieval History, which is the product of a general seminar.