This programme critically evaluates the importance of region, place and locality in the study of History, and then applies that critique to case studies in the South West (Bristol, Glos, Wilts, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, and South East Wales). Students will be introduced to the conceptual discussions of locality and regionality in History, to the methodologies of local history and to the problems of archival sources. Conceptual work about the role and definition of 'public history' will be developed. The programme also endeavours to provide a bridge between the relatively structured forms of study at undergraduate level and independent research and scholarship.
In the first teaching block (September to January) you will take one optional special subject module followed in February to June by a compulsory module - Approaches to History. In September to January of your second year you will take a second optional special subject module and in the following teaching block (February to June) you will take a further compulsory module, Research Techniques in History and commence your dissertation at the beginning of the second year. The dissertation is submitted in the following January.
A selection from the following list of optional special subject modules is offered each year:
-Later Medieval Bristol, 1370-1540
-The Bristol Poor, 1850-1939
-Town and Parish in the South West, 1350-1689
-Britain's Involvement on the Atlantic Slave Economy, 1655-1838
-Bristol and the Modern World, 1700-1939
-Family and Community Histories in South West England, 1850-1960
It may be possible to choose one module from a wider Faculty list.
Early in the fourth teaching block, you will negotiate your dissertation topic, and an experienced member of staff will be allocated as your supervisor. In the module Research Techniques in History, you receive instruction and training in basic research techniques including the compilation of bibliographies and the development of IT, paleographic or foreign language skills depending on your choice of dissertation topic. The dissertation is an individual piece of work of your own choosing. It consists of 15,000 - 20,000 words and is based partly on research into primary sources.
Teaching and learning
MA classes run between 18.30 and 21.30 on Monday - Thursday evenings in both semesters. Workshops and archival visits supplement the regular sessions. parts of the programme will be offered through Distance Learning.
Students are also encouraged to attend the School of History's seminar series, which are regular features in the academic calendar. The Regional History Centre series will have papers related to questions of regionalism and public history. The Regional History Centre is based at UWE.
Assessment takes a variety of forms, which may include essays, extended essays, document analyses, book reviews and assessed seminar assignments for each taught module. In addition, a controlled conditions exercise, which may take the form of a short written exam or oral presentation, is also part of the assessment. An MA with distinction shall be awarded to students of exceptional merit.