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The University of Southampton
HistoryPart of Humanities

Teaching and Assessment

Dr Joan Tumblety (third from left) with Year 3 students from her course on 'Defeat, Occupation and National Memory in France' in Paris, March 2009
History staff and students

Teaching methods

Most undergraduate courses are taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. Lectures are more usual in the first and second years, when there is a strong emphasis on introducing you to a range of fields of study and the critical questions and methods which scholars bring to them.

First and second year courses also include seminars, designed to give you the opportunity to explore questions and ideas with other students, under guidance from your tutor.

Studies in the final year revolve around extended seminars in which students play the major part in the presentation and discussion of topics. We put great emphasis on the importance of you developing skills to enable you to work independently, both on your own and in a team. Your tutors will always be happy to help you with advice on your work and with preparation for your written projects. Academic and social activities for everyone interested in History are supported by research seminars, guest lectures and field trips.

History is above all a reading subject. You will be given extensive reading lists for each course, and expected to read widely in preparation for seminar discussions and exams.

Assessment methods

We believe that different kinds of assessment help to develop and examine different skills and areas of study. To focus your studies, we ask you to prepare essays on selected topics for each course. These will be marked by your tutors and returned to you with comments, suggestions for development and guidance for further thinking.

About half of the marks we use to calculate your final class will be taken from written coursework essays and other assignments, and half from examinations of different kinds.

In the first year, you must pass exams and assessed work in order to proceed to the second year, but they do not count towards your finals marks; second- and third-year courses are assessed and examined for finals purposes. In addition, most students write a 10,000 word dissertation in their final year, based on Southampton's extensive range of learning and research resources.

Key facts

You can find additional information about teaching and assessment within the module sections of each History programme.

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