Compulsory modules

These modules are compulsory for students in particular years of the undergraduate course.


Writing History/Writing Ancient History

The aim of this 15-credit module is to develop your skills and confidence as a writer. It will help you to understand the differences between school and university study. You will have the opportunity to discuss with a tutor and with a small group of fellow students how best to approach research and writing at university, and will learn how your work will be assessed. The module is taught in small-group tutorials over the first half of the first term and assessed by a 2,500-word essay (99%) and portfolio of formative assignments completed over the course of the term (1%).

Making History

Making History (15 credits) is designed to get students thinking in new ways about the process of constructing History from initial evidence-gathering to the dissemination of findings to public audiences. Students work closely in small groups of five to six to analyse an important historical question through the use of secondary material and primary sources, including the huge body of material artefacts and historical structures accessible to students in London. As well as writing individual journals (worth 10% of the assessment), project teams deliver an assessed presentation aimed at a public audience (40%), and a model version of a professional public history output such as a podcast, television documentary, popular magazine article, exhibition or mobile app (50%).

Professor Antony Smith, UCL's Vice-Provost for Education and Student Affairs, cites this module as an example of research-based education

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Approaching History

This 30-credit module provides a bridge between A levels, baccalaureate or similar levels of study and the demands of the undergraduate degree programme. It introduces students to the most significant approaches to historical scholarship, including social, economic, intellectual, cultural and comparative history. It provides students with an overview of key concepts, historiographical debates and historical terminology that enables them to critically engage with historical scholarship. The course also provides opportunities for students to learn more about the research being done by departmental staff and how this fits into the wider evolution of the historical discipline. It is taught by two-hour lectures in terms 1 and 2. Lectures are followed by a general discussion between the teacher and the students. It is assessed by two take home exams (50% each).


Second-year Research Seminar

The Research Seminar involves students studying a particular topic in small seminar groups of no more than 15 students and some of the teaching may also be organised around independent study and one-to-one tutorials with the seminar leader, who will be a specialist in the area of study. The seminars focus on the examination of a specific set of source materials organised around a topic, and are designed to develop students’ capacity to work independently and to use primary and secondary sources in the construction of a historical argument. Students then go on to identify a research topic they are passionate about within the broader subject area, ultimately producing a research essay for examination.

A list of the Second Year Research Seminars running in the 2020/21 academic year can be found on the page below: