University of Cambridge: Programme Specifications MASTER OF STUDIES IN LOCAL AND REGIONAL HISTORY

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1 University of Cambridge: Programme Specifications Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this programme specification. Programme specifications are produced and then reviewed annually by the relevant faculty or department and revised where necessary. However, we reserve the right to withdraw, update or amend this programme specification at any time without notice. Further information about specifications and an archive of programme specifications for all awards of the University is available online at: MASTER OF STUDIES IN LOCAL AND REGIONAL HISTORY 1 Awarding body University of Cambridge 2 Teaching institution Institute of Continuing Education 3 Accreditation details None 4 Name of final award Master of Studies 5 Programme title Local and Regional History 6 JACS code(s) V100 7 Relevant QAA benchmark None statement(s) 8 Qualifications framework level 7 (Masters) 9 Date specification was produced/ January 2007 last revised 10 Date specification was last reviewed February 2011 Educational Aims of the Programme to give students a clear historical context for local and regional studies; to give students training in the research techniques appropriate for local and regional history; to give students the opportunity to undertake individual research under the direction of a supervisor; to provide the appropriate academic and intellectual background for the student who successfully completes the MSt to proceed to register for a PhD. by i) giving students guidance on how to place local and regional history within its wider national and international context. ii) giving the students comparative examples of local and regional history. iii) developing students understanding of debates, arguments and models on historical themes, and encouraging them to apply these to their own research. iv) giving students the skill necessary to locate, read, interpret and analyse primary source material. v) guiding students in choosing a viable yet unique research project, writing a research proposal, drawing up a research timetable and adhering to this, compiling a bibliography, and writing a thesis that uses appropriate scholarly protocols. vi) giving students the opportunity to attend research seminars and lectures by eminent local historians on topics relevant to their own research and the opportunity to present their own research and issues arising from it with their peers and tutors. All students will be provided with the analytical skills necessary to discuss the nature of local and regional history, and an understanding of the historical framework and themes relevant to it, through a range of seminars and field trips. Page 1 of 5

2 All students will be given the teaching necessary to reading and understanding historical manuscripts, and where relevant instruction in reading Latin documents. Students will be given assistance in using computer technology. The primary focus of the first two terms of year one is on the nature of local and regional history, the sources available for the local and regional historian and how to interpret these, and the historical debates connected to the themes being discussed. This covers a broadly chronological sequence. The third term of year one is divided into three blocks of special subjects, in which topics relevant for local and regional historians are examined in detail and are taught by acknowledged experts in the field. During the final term of year one, students write a research proposal for year two, articulating why they have chosen it, why it is unique, and its wider historical context. This leads to year two based on supervised research. Programme Outcomes Knowledge and Understanding: Teaching and Learning By the end of the course the students should have: 1. Developed a conceptual understanding of the nature of local and regional history, the ability to place this in its wider historical context and to articulate the critical debates within in it; 2. The ability to engage and evaluate current research methodologies and to place these within the context of their own research. Teaching and Learning Methods (1) and (2) are developed through: Monthly Day Schools led by a tutor with specialist knowledge in the nature and concerns of local history; personal study; one-to-one supervisions. Assessment (1) and (2) are assessed through essays, a thesis and possibly a viva voce. Skills and Other Attributes By the end of the course the students should have acquired: 1. the skills necessary to locate, read, interpret and analyse primary source material available for the local and regional historian to use; 2. the ability to formulate a research topic using these materials and to place this within its relevant historical context, to locate comparative secondary source material, and to discuss relevant debates on the topic; Page 2 of 5

3 3. the facility to communicate the results of their ideas, research and its conclusion in a written form acceptable as a work of historical scholarship, and as an oral contribution in a research colloquium. Teaching and Learning Methods Skills are developed through: regular palaeography classes, with texts given to students for practice and feedback between classes; seminars on formulating a viable research topic; one-to-one supervisions on research; monthly meetings in year two at which students discuss their research methodology, the sources they are using, the wider context of their research, and debates on their topic; a research colloquium at the end of year two when students discuss their conclusions. Assessment a palaeography examination; one essay on the nature of local history, one thematic essay and one essay in the form of a formal research proposal; thesis. Programme Structure Year 2 September Possible viva voce Degree awarded August October Submit thesis Entry to Year 2: Supervised research Monthly seminars are held throughout year 2 Year 1 June Palaeography Test Marked June Submit Essay 3 Marked and feedback March Submit Essay 2 Marked and feedback December Submit Essay 1 Marked and feedback September Induction Course & First Day School Monthly Day Schools are held throughout Year 1. Requirements for the Award of the Degree 1. In order to proceed to year two students must complete three essays of 4000 words each attaining an average of 60% overall, and pass the palaeography test. 2. The degree is awarded on the satisfactory completion of a 20,000-word thesis, awarded a post-viva mark of 60% or above. Page 3 of 5

4 3. A thesis awarded a post-viva mark of 59% is a borderline pass % and below are absolute fails, with no re-submission. 5. Although the overall result of the degree is Pass or Fail, the external examiners may recommend that a thesis with a mark of 75% or above may be deemed a distinction. Indicators of Quality The Master of Studies in Local and Regional History admits students every other year. The number of students admitted at each intake is between Of these 90% will proceed to year 2. The pass rate for the cohort completing in 2009 was 100%. There are 14 students from previous cohorts at present on Ph.D. programmes, and there has been a significant number of papers based on the dissertations in refereed publications. Learning Support All students are members of a college and have access to learning support from the Institute of Continuing Education, their colleges and the University s resources. In year one the Course Director gives advice on planning the year s work, and two essay workshops are held to help with preparing written work. All students discuss their research proposal with the Course Director. Progress is monitored through the three assessed essays, and students are given extensive feedback on these through written comments. Students have borrowing rights in the University Library, and reading rights in the Faculty library, and may attend research seminars and lectures organised by the Faculty and the colleges. Each student is given a student handbook which gives full details of the course, what it entails, timetables, essay titles, bibliographies and details on the presentation of essays and the thesis. Evaluating and Improving the Quality of Standards of Learning The Faculty of History and Institute of Continuing Education participate in the University s quality assurance and enhancement system. Academic management of the degree is in the hands of a degree sub-committee which includes Faculty and Institute members. This reports to the Academic and Management committees of the Institute of Continuing Education, and to the Faculty degree committee. The Faculty degree committee reports to the Board of Graduate Studies. 1. Internal examining. Year one. Two internal examiners mark the essays and one marks the palaeography test. 2. External examining Year one. All failed essays, and all with a mark equivalent to a 1 st class with a sample of other mark ranges are sent to an external moderator. The external moderator s mark is the final decision. 3. Year 2. There are two sets of examiners drawn from one internal examiner and an external examiner. The examiners mark the thesis and some students might attend a viva voce. The degree sub-committee and the examiners re-convene as an Examination Board. The external examiners report to the Academic Operations Committee of the Board of Management of the Institute of Continuing Education. 4. Students are required to submit a progress report to the degree sub-committee in the September and March of year two, supervisors submit termly reports. 5. Students complete an end of course questionnaire which is analysed and acted upon. 6. Students are represented by the graduate students on the Faculty degree committee. Employment and careers As well as preparing students for registering for a Ph.D. the course is especially useful as a career enhancement for teachers and archivists, and for those wishing to enter adult Page 4 of 5

5 education as tutors. The analytical and transferable skills it provides have also proved to be of value to those changing their careers. Page 5 of 5

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