H500 Dissertation in History

Key information

Start date
End date
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of History

Module overview

The Independent Study Project (ISP) is a unique opportunity for a student to work on his or her own initiative. Undertaken during the final year, it involves researching a topic that may be related to other courses which the student has already studied or is about to study. More typically students may take the ISP as a chance to design a research project around a topic of their own interest and study it in greater depth. An ISP normally requires the identification and utilisation of a set of primary sources. Researching an ISP is particularly useful for students thinking of doing postgraduate study, or taking employment involving some kind of research component.
The research can be presented in a variety of formats.  Most students will want to produce a dissertation of no more than 10,000 words.  Some students may want to present their work in alternative formats (audio-visual or digital).  For audio or video presentations, students should present 20-30 minutes of material.  For other formats, they should consult with the module convenor on what constitutes an acceptable submission of comparative scope.  In all cases, the submission should be accompanied by written documentation of 3,000 words, explaining the research goals and methodology, summarizing the findings, and justifying the submission format.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module


1. to enable students to design and carry out a substantial piece of independent research, based on an understanding of some of the approaches, methods, and key issues in the History of Asia, Africa and the Middle East;
2. to develop the capacity to identify, collect and critically appraise the relevant primary and secondary sources;
3. to refine the skills necessary to present the research outcome in an appealing and coherent way;
4. to enable students to develop their own professional and personal interests.


Method of assessment

  • Presentation of the main concept and progress of the dissertation, 10 minutes (10%)
  • Dissertation of 10,000 words (90%)



Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules