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MRes Historical Research (Environmental History)

Image of Environmental History

The Master of Research in Historical Research is a one-year programme that is research-oriented and allows specialisation in particular research areas including an environmental history pathway. Students are allocated an individual supervisor to direct their independent study and plan the curriculum to reflect their interests and needs. (Should students wish to undertake an integrated environmental science/history approach to their research an individual supervisor from each discipline will be allocated.) Students should maintain regular contact with supervisors through email and an agreed schedule of meetings to discuss their work and review draft submissions.

Historiography: Students taking the MRes undertake independent study of the historical literature of a chosen field. Coursework comprises a 10,000-word paper that critically reviews historians' works and identifies a topic suitable for original research in a dissertation (module 4 below). There are no classes; one-to-one supervisory sessions are scheduled at mutually convenient times.

Research Skills TrainingStudents plan a personal itinerary, with direction, that provides the essential skills to both complete their dissertation and for their career development, including an intensive, one-week programme covering history-specific related discipline skills including historical approaches, documentary editing, palaeography, and using biographical sources. Extra classes in languages can be arranged. Students attend CEHP research seminars and present a short working paper at the History postgraduate symposium in June.

Sources and Methods: Students discuss with their supervisor how to apply and develop their research skills. This may entail further training, such as in languages, palaeography geo-archaeology and soil science, or attendance at external courses on relational database construction or social theory. Students also examine a body of sources related to their research topic, and practice the methods that they have been learning. Coursework comprises: a 5,000-word paper explaining the research 'value' and significance of the selected sources and setting out the appropriate concepts, theories and methods to be used in analysis and interpretation; and a skills test based on methods and sources.

Dissertation: Having researched the existing secondary literature and the primary sources, and having received training in appropriate research skills, students now go on to complete a dissertation of up to 20,000 words.

Please email Dr. Jim Smyth (programme director) if you require any further information.

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