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Student and tutor module reviews

MA History part 1

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  • Points: 120
  • Code: A825
  • Level: Postgraduate
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Student reviews

This was a brilliant course and a step up from third year uni modules. Although the description of the course may make it look difficult, it isn't. It is quite enjoyable and if you have an interest in British local and regional studies, or a specific area such as crime, urbanism, poverty, industrialization, Victorian family structure, or development of religion in Britain over the last few centuries, this course is worth doing. It is definitely enlightening.

My BA with the OU was in humanities with religious studies. Very few of my modules were focused on history. But I was quite surprised by the end of A825, how it had prepared me to go onto A826 and I was capable of doing research independently at an MA level.

Local-regional history was something completely new to me. But the course is far more enlightening then I expected it to be. And now as im completing A826, I am grateful to all the tutors I have come across who were very supportive throughout my study.

This course is worth studying if you have an interest in British history.

Mohammed Mohsin

Course starting: September 2013

Review posted: November 2015

Overall I found the course fascinating, especially Industrialization in the period around 1840-1870 of which my EMA was based on. I aim to build on this period in A826, and I feel confident now that I could achieve this. But I cannot take full credit as my tutor was fully behind me and gave me ongoing encouragement throughout the course.

Throughout my 16 years career with the university, my experience with tutors has been 100% positive. But the module A825 for me, has opened up new avenues with which I aim to explore in the future. I love archives and I have learnt to try and keep on the track in hand as it is extremely easy to side step into other directions but the module has helped me to focus on the research with which I was currently studying.

The study materials that were put together for the module were mostly spot on for me. Anyway O.U. thank you for another enjoyable, at times taxing especially the assignments,(But that is all part and parcel of it) see you for module A826.

Theresa Anne Sargeant

Course starting: September 2012

Review posted: August 2014

The course is good at creating the functioning local historian. At the end of A825 you will be familiar with archives, record offices and library searches, a working researcher and in this regard the module scores highly. But please note, History is a very interesting subject but this module is long, isolating and borders on the dull at times. There is no political or military history and actually not much philosophical theory either, no mention of paradigms or realist/idealist theory. So A825 felt very DIY, it is a hands on and practical course more in common with vocational modules.

One objective criticism I do have is that it is marketed as covering 1750-1950 but my presentation was almost exclusively focused on the mid-1800s. There was virtually no material on 20th century events. Now, to balance this out you are allowed to go right up to 1950 but again I felt out on my own with no supporting material. The P. Riden book felt very old fashioned.

So overall, a vocational toolkit for the aspiring local Historian but very dry if you were inspired by the sumptuous OU undergrad courses of the 1990s.

Course starting: September 2012

Review posted: March 2014

Faculty response

The focus of A825 is indeed on social history and practical research skills. We wanted to give students lots of support for their own research projects. But there is a limit to how much material we can cover in the time available. We have worked hard to cover the period between 1750-1950 adequately. Our tutor specialisms cross the full date range, so we can encourage every student to develop a project on a topic and time period that suits them. We know postgraduate study can be isolating, but we provide online forums and face-to-face day schools to help with this.

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

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