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Unit information: Environment and History in 2021/22

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Unit name Environment and History
Unit code HISTM0078
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Dudley
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

What is Environmental History? When and why did the field emerge? How has it changed over time? In what ways is it practiced differently in different parts of the world and by historians of different time periods? These are some of the central questions that will be addressed in this unit on the historiography of environmental history. It will pay particular attention to debates that have taken place among environmental historians and will consider some of the different methods and approaches that have been used. The unit also addresses questions about the relationship of environmental history to other areas of historical research and to other academic fields, thinking about the challenges of collaborative research. Through extensive reading and seminar discussions the unit will provide a strong grounding in the field of environmental history and demonstrate the numerous opportunities that exist for bringing ‘the environment’ into our understanding of change over time.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a knowledge of the wide range of approaches and methods that can be included within the field of environmental history.
  2. Articulate underlying epistemological and ideological differences that have led to disagreements among environmental historians.
  3. Identify opportunities for applying insights from environmental history to other fields of historical research.
  4. Make connections between the development of the field of environmental history and wider historical trends.
  5. Construct a persuasive historiographical argument using evidence from secondary sources appropriate to level M.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including group seminar-style discussion and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

One 5000-word essay (100%). [ILOs 1-5].


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How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.