2018.14 - Basic Course in Historical Method

Course number
Basic Course in Historical Method
Students are required to hold an upper secondary education diploma or equivalent qualification.
To provide students with the foundations of historical methods. Students should learn to: • apply historical methods both in theory and practice. • use historical approaches and procedures. • assess historical research. • use historical sources meticulously. This course is also aimed at people, who work with sources in some capacity, for example in the media.
Through examples of historical research, sources and other materials, this course will familiarize students with the methods used by historians. The course is based on literature on methods in historical research describing different approaches. Subsequently, set sources will be thoroughly reviewed using source criticism methods, as well as concrete source criticism questions.
Learning and teaching approaches
The duration of the course is approximately 30 hours. The learning and teaching strategies used include lectures, discussions and exercises. Source assignments will be revised, three of these will be take-home assignments. The course is divided into two main components. A theoretical component and a longer practical component, during which sources and source assignments are revised and discussed.
Learning outcomes
Successful students can demonstrate ability to: • distinguish between different types of historical sources • question historical sources • assess historical sources • understand the basic concepts of historical methods • apply concepts of historical method to approach historical sources • make the most of historical sources • analyse the relation between different types of historical sources • discuss and reach a concrete conclusion regarding a given set of available sources.
Assessment method
The examination is a five-day set take-home assignment at the end of the course. Students will receive a source assignment with set questions for answering. Study aids are permitted. The examination is externally assessed according to the marking scale in force. In order to take the exam, students must have submitted and received approval for at least two of the three above-mentioned take-home assignments.
Marking scale
Approximately 500 pages on historical methods. Furthermore, students will read and meticulously revise 5-7 source assignments (including the 3 mentioned above), which are 30-to-40-pages long.
Hans Andrias Sølvará