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HI4518: HISTORY IN PRACTICE (2021-2022)

Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05

Course Overview

History is not simply a dry, academic study of the past; it shapes a host of contemporary political, economic and cultural attitudes and is a central underpinning to the tourist and heritage industries - now one of the largest sectors of employment among mature western economies. This course is designed to give a critical understanding of the theoretical and practical links (as well as clear distinctions) between the practice of 'academic' History and 'public' History. This is done by having students assess how heritage and tourist businesses project a particular version of the past.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Elizabeth Macknight

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • History (HI) (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course aims to give a greater sense of History as an applied subject with considerable public relevance and socio-economic significance beyond its academic forms. The course looks at the different practices that characterise the discipline of History in universities and in society at large. Students will refect upon and utilise both factual knowledge and generic techniques and genres inherent in the subject of History. By critiquing six academic papers, undertaking (where possible) workplacements, or reviewing how historical topics are selected, edited and packed in non-academic formats, students will gain a deeper knowledge of the many varieties of History which can and do exist. Beside a comparative review of how academic historians practice their discipline in the format of seminar papers/and or lectures, the course will enable students to evaluate how public, heritage, or civic institutions (libraries, archives, museums, History societies, tourist boards etc.) select, construct and present different, but equally valid, forms of History. Finally, students will then apply their knowledge, understanding and skills to develop an historical project and presentation based on a particular archival or primary source/s. In doing so, students are asked to ponder the wider issue of who 'owns' History and how, if at all, are competing claims to such ownership and practices addressed, mediated, and presented?

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Essay 60%

Public History Report 40%


Resit; resubmission of failed elements

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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