APG4618 - Researching histories - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr Ernest Koh

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit functions as an advanced introduction into the world of historical research. It introduces students to some of the common problems and issues as well as key debates that confront all historians working with different types of primary sources. It explores the many ways in which the past is constructed through the production of history by challenging students to think about what history is, how different lenses inform our reading and making of histories, how and where different genres of primary sources can be found for a resourceful historian of the 21st century, and how these sources can best be used in shaping an intellectually rigorous dissertation.


On successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Have a deep understanding of the key debates that have taken place on the nature of history as a practice up until the present day
  2. Recognise the different theoretical approaches or lenses (such as Marxist or Feminist) through which historians make history, and reconcile that with their own approaches to writing history
  3. Develop the capacity to identify and access various repositories (such as digital libraries) to locate primary sources for their research
  4. Become familiar with good practice in organising their primary sources, such as note-taking strategies, and reading and using different types of primary sources effectively in their work
  5. Develop an understanding of how to use quantitative sources effectively in history-writing, as well as how to effectively make quantitative judgements in their research
  6. Have an appreciation of how archival sources, material culture, autobiographical sources, and audio-visual sources can be used effectively in research
  7. Have further developed their oral and written communication skills


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study