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Undergraduate History Sample Materials

Sample Materials for Stage 1:

The Arts Past and Present

You will normally start any arts and humanities qualification with the interdisciplinary module, The Arts Past and Present, which will help you to develop your study skills and your knowledge of key topics and periods. This module includes units that examine the ways in which the past has been interpreted in Ireland, and a history of the Benin bronzes. See full module description and sample study calendar.


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The Benin Bronzes podcast series on OpenLearn is based on material covered in the module The Arts Past and Present. These recordings explore some of the issues surrounding interpretation and display of these West African bronze sculptures. This album was prepared by Dr Donna Loftus, Senior Lecturer in History.

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Ireland - heritage and collective identity podcast series on OpenLearn is based on material covered in The Arts Past and Present. These recordings consider Ireland's shifting attitudes towards its history and cultural heritage. This album was prepared by Anne Laurence, Professor of History.

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Other sample material from the Arts Past and Present includes a chapter on Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus from Book 1; a chapter on Plato on tradition and belief from Book 2; audio and video material on The Diva and audio and video material on Mosaics from Brading Villa.

Voices, Texts and Material Culture

If you plan on completing a BA (Honours) in History, you may choose from a range of options for your second Stage 1 module, including languages; social sciences; or design. We particularly recommend the interdisciplinary module Voices, Texts and Material Culture (A105). History content in this module examines the Reformation in Europe and industrial Manchester in mid-Victorian Britain. See full module description and sample study calendar.

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Voices, texts and material culture builds on the skills and knowledge which you have been developing by studying The Arts past and present.

The chapter Looking at, describing and identifying objects, adapted from A105 Voices, texts and material culture, considers why descriptions are important and explores how things and words written about things are inextricably linked.

Sample Materials for Stage 2 and 3

We have a range of modules on offer at Stages 2 and 3. These modules will build on your studies at level one by developing your knowledge of key historical periods and developing your ability to analyse and interpret a wide variety of historical evidence.

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Empires: Power, Resistance, Legacies (A328)

Get a sense of the module by taking the introductory OpenLearn course Empires: Power, Resistance, Legacies, or by dipping into it for themes that particularly interest you.

For a short introduction to the nineteenth and twentieth century British and Chinese empires, and the nature of power, you can try the OpenLearn course How do Empires Work?

Or if you can look at OpenLearn series of articles on  'Selling Empire'. These explore how the British empire was sold and marketed, including through the Empire Marketing Board, Exhibitions, and Film.

Europe 1914-1989: War, Peace, Modernity (A327)

Read the chapter  Roaring Twenties? Europe in the interwar period

Audio visual material on the End of the League of Nations is taken from the module (duration 20 minutes).

Films on the atom bomb in popular culture relate to this module (duration 20 minutes).

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