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Module HPH-4075:

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

60 Credits or 30 ECTS Credits

Organiser: Prof Huw Pryce

Overall aims and purpose

This course brings together all the skills and experience learnt by the student in Part 1 of the MA course (in Celtic Archaeology, History, or Welsh History) through the successful completion of a piece of scholarly research and writing on a topic chosen by the individual student. This module will enable the student 1. To gather a list of relevant sources for their chosen topic. 2. To gather relevant secondary research material for their chosen topic. 3. To gather relevant primary research material for their chosen topic . 4. To interrogate and analyse their source material in relation to relevant research questions. 5. To construct a coherent chapter plan for their dissertation. 6. To write up the project successfully in a manner that conforms to the conventions of style and presentation required for MA dissertations and detailed in the School¿s MA Style Sheet.

Course content

The MA dissertation will set the chosen research in its broader context e.g. historiography, theoretical framework, geographical and historical framework. It will set research questions and a structure will be worked out. It will describe and analyse the chosen topic using a range of relevant secondary and primary evidence. The project will be written up in an ordered manner that conforms with conventions set out in the Style Sheet provided for MA students.

Assessment Criteria


Threshold students (C/50%) will demonstrate satisfactory research skills in at least parts of their chosen topic, and will make at least partly successful attempts to interrogate and analyse the information and to write up the project in a manner that conforms with the School¿s requirements.


Good students (B/60%) will show a solid level of achievement in all the criteria listed in the paragraphs above.


Excellent students (A/70% and above) will show this solid achievement across the criteria combined with originality, extensive knowledge of the chosen topic in its broader context and subtlety of argument and analysis.

Learning outcomes

  1. The student will have learnt how to gather primary and secondary research material for their project.

  2. The student will have learnt how to set this material in a broader context.

  3. The student will have learnt how to construct an argument/analyse the evidence in a relevant manner.

  4. The student will have learnt how to organise the report and dissertation and write at a sustained length in the latter.

  5. The student will have learnt how to present the project satisfactorily for submission.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
15000-2000 word Dissertation 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Individual Project

Completion of dissertation with advice from academic supervisor.


The student will have been prepared for the dissertation by taking the module Initiating a Research Project (HPH 4008). For the dissertation itself the student will produce a substantive piece of independent research and writing on a topic agreed with his or her supervisor: c.594 hours independent study. This may consis of library and archive research, fieldwork, data organisation and writing up. Each student is allocated a dissertation supervisor who will meet him or her initially in June and then at regular intervals to monitor progress and provide feedback on written drafts: c.6 hours. Total: 600 hours.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • problem solving to develop solutions to understand the past
  • understanding the complexity of change over time; in specific contexts and chronologies
  • being sensitive to the differences, or the "otherness" of the past, and the difficulty to using it as a guide to present or future action
  • being sensitive to the role of perceptions of the past in contemporary cultures
  • producing logical and structured arguments supported by relevant evidence
  • planning, designing, executing and documenting a programme of research, working independently
  • marshalling and critically appraising other people's arguments, including listening and questioning
  • making effective and appropriate use of relevant information technology
  • making critical and effective use of information retrieval skills using paper-based and electronic resources
  • critical evaluation of one's own and others' opinions

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: