Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Research Methods

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course



DESCRIPTION A study-unit in Research Methods is essential for the postgraduate student who sets out to write a Master of Arts dissertation on a historical subject in the Department of History. The main purpose of this programme is to indicate and discuss the Research Methods currently in use in relevant historical fields, with the postgraduate History student primarily in mind.

The study-unit is structured via lectures and guided seminars which deal with these specific issues: the research proposal; managing the research process; literature review; the use of sources; drawing conclusions and the actual writing of the dissertation. Seminars will also revolve around the practical problems faced by the students themselves.

Study-unit Aims:

- To offer MA history students knowledge and insights into the different skills required to research and to write the History dissertation;
- To offer MA History students the opportunity to form a critical understanding of the research process leading to the writing of their dissertation;
- To make MA History students aware of the different possible approaches to postgraduate historical research.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Explain the main research objectives undertaken in the MA History dissertation;
- Discuss the methodological choices made in the historical research process;
- Distinguish the different stages in the process of researching and writing the History MA.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Read critically the different sources relevant to the subject of historical research;
- Plan the main stages of research of the History MA according to a particular schedule;
- Carry out postgraduate historical research in different contexts and using a variety of techniques.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:
- John Tosh, The Pursuit of History, Longman 2010.
- Robert C Williams, The Historian's Toolbox: A Student's Guide to the Theory and Craft of History, M.E. Sharpe 2007.
- Martha Howell and Walter Prevenier, From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methodology, Cornell University Press 2001.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S John Chircop
Charles Dalli

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.