Module HTH-2159:
History in Practice

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Tony Claydon

Overall aims and purpose

This module aims to provide an opportunity for students to work in groups to design a practical application of historical, archaeological, or heritage, knowledge or research. This will take the form of an output that would explain the past to the public; and enhance their appreciation, understanding, or enjoyment, of it. Students will be able to choose from a range of projects: most centred on the presentation of aspects of the past local to Bangor, and culminating in the design of a public-facing output such as a website, travel guide, site brochure, exhibition, event, performance, or similar artefact. The module will encourage the skills of clear presentation of the past, central to all history and archaeology based degrees; and will demand mastery of a specific body of historical or archaeological material (again central to degrees). As the design of the project will occur in multiple stages towards a deadline, it will also foster time-management skills; and as the projects will be designed in groups, it will give an experience of team working and delivery crucial to employability.

Course content

Students on this module will choose from a range of briefs for projects to present an aspect of history, heritage or archaeology to the public to enhance the audience’s understanding and enjoyment of the past. The projects will centre on the past in North Wales, permitting liaison with local agencies and experts as they unfold. Examples might include a brochure for a historical walking tour of Bangor; a website to guide visitors through the archaeological sites of Anglesey; an exhibition explaining the establishment of Snowdonia National Park, or the medieval conquest of Gwynedd; an afternoon of historical re-enactment and performance to present the experience of North West Wales in the First World War; or a re-curation of the information boards at a local heritage site to stress aspects of its history not currently foregrounded; work with Bangor University Archives to plan an exhibition of an aspect of its holdings. These examples are illustrative not definitive: briefs will change from year to year, in response to local resources and staff expertise. Students will work in groups to design the project: a significant element of the module will involve reflective assessment of the working of the groups. Each group will be asigned a staff mentor, who will attend the initial meeting; and meet the group half way through the project design stage to give advice and monitor progress.

Assessment Criteria


Good Students will produce an effective project, showing adequate knowledge of the topic it covers, and will have some good ideas about how to engage the public. Oral presentation of this will be clear, and will reflect the solid content of the project itself. Individual reflection on the project and team working will identify strengths and weaknesses, and will make sensible suggestions about how these could have been improved


Threshold Students will produce a project that presents aspects of their topic to the public, demonstrating some basic knowledge of it, and shows some understanding of how the audience can be engaged – though coverage may be incomplete, or the suggested means of engage may be impractical, or unlikely to achieve their aims. Oral presentations will convey a basic sense of the project – though there may be confusions within it. Individual reflection on the project will provide a basic sense of how it unfolded, though the strengths and weaknesses of its processes may be cloudy, and suggestions for practical improvement of these may be thin.



Students will produce an imaginative project, demonstrating deep knowledge of their topic, and finding inventive or innovative ways to engage the public to a high degree. Oral presentation of this will be clear, and will also convey the innovation and excitement of what is being proposed. Individual reflection on the project and team working will be particularly thorough and insightful, and will make perceptive suggestions on how these could have been improved.

Learning outcomes

  1. A detailed knowledge of an area of history, heritage, or archaeology.

  2. An ability to decide, design, and implement, a strategy for presenting that area of knowledge to the public in order to enhance their understanding and experience of the past; in the form of a project matching a brief in the module handbook (the project will take a form such as a website, guide, brochure, plans for an exhibition, performance, or event: there will be range of briefs to choose from in the module handbook).

  3. Effective oral presentation of the strategy

  4. An ability to reflect actively on a project, on individual contribution to that project, and on the functioning of the teams.

  5. Effective work as part of a team.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Hard copy presentation of project 50
Group presentation of project: 20 minutes, 10 mins questions 20
Minutes of meetings: max 3,000 words 10
Reflexive submission 20
peer rating 0

Teaching and Learning Strategy


A mid-way group meeting with staff mentor to monitor progress


Introductory lectures (two a week for the first two weeks) explaining the module and providing advice for successful approaches to the project, team working, and the assessments [Outcomes 2-5]

Practical classes and workshops

An oral presentation by the group on its project – with feedback

Group Project

10 weekly minuted team meetings to discuss the implementation of the project: recommended to last around 1.5 hours each [Outcomes 1-5]

Group Project

Work by the team and individual in less structured time to research and design the project; to plan the oral presentation; and to reflect on the process.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • planning, designing, executing and documenting a programme of research, working independently
  • marshalling and critically appraising other people's arguments, including listening and questioning
  • demonstrating a positive and can-do approach to practical problems
  • demonstrating an innovative approach, creativity, collaboration and risk taking
  • presenting effective oral presentations for different kinds of audiences, including academic and/or audiences with little knowledge of history
  • preparing effective written communications for different readerships
  • making effective and appropriate forms of visual presentation
  • making effective and appropriate use of relevant information technology
  • making critical and effective use of information retrieval skills using paper-based and electronic resources
  • collaborating effectively in a team via experience of working in a group
  • appreciating and being sensitive to different cultures and dealing with unfamiliar situations
  • critical evaluation of one's own and others' opinions
  • engaging with relevant aspects of current agendas such as global perspectives, public engagement, employability, enterprise, and creativity


Resource implications for students


Reading list

There are no core texts for this module: the knowledge - and thus the literature, web-resources and personal experience - needed will vary according to the project chosen.

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: