The History of Now (V1367)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

This module introduces first-year students to applied historiography. 

Historical memory is constantly contested, and this is no less true in today's society. Any research and debate on events and movements that attract public attention – from economic cycles to social trends and global conflicts – always relies heavily on a study of past events. In search either of roots and causes, or of continuities and differences, or just of lessons learned but then forgotten, history maintains a central role in the way we understand today's world. 

This module asks what can we learn about the present through our analysis of the past, and vice versa. The module will thus focus on the historical study of themes central to contemporary debates, analysing a range of their connections with the past and the different historiographical interpretations through which they can be explored. 

The module will also act as an introduction to historical methods and approaches. The module is structured around the key elements of historical research: primary research skills and methodology, historiography and analysis. These are applied to a variety of historical events and questions in order to help you come in contact with a variety of periods, sources, and schools of thought.

The focus is less on 'what is history?' and more on 'what is history for?'. By the end of the module you will thus have developed both a firm historical perspective on current affairs, and an awareness of historical methods and your own approach to history.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: