Researching the Past

Subject MULT90032 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Jul-2016 to 19-Aug-2016
Assessment Period End 16-Sep-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 02-Aug-2016
Census Date 12-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 02-Sep-2016

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

This subject must be completed over two consecutive study periods (Semester 1 AND July) – 12.5 points total.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours (total) – Semester 1: 6 x 2 hour Seminars, fortnightly; July: 2 x 6 hour intensive days.
Total Time Commitment:

85 Hours


Admission into 101AA Ph.D.- Arts or DR-PHILART Doctor of Philosophy in Arts.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof David Goodman



Subject Overview:

The first half of this subject, conducted as six fortnightly seminars, introduces commencing graduate students to various tools and traditions of reading, writing, researching and thinking about the past. The subject will touch on a range of key methodological approaches in historiography over the past half century. Its intention is to focus students' attention on issues to do with researching and communicating knowledge of the past and on discussion of the broader role and claims of historical scholarship. We will consider changing modes of historical writing and publication, as well as the place of the PhD itself in historical training.

The second half of this subject, delivered intensively, focuses on the common challenges of designing a research project at PhD level. These include framing research questions in the context of the existing research literature, selecting and developing an appropriate and refined research strategy, and clarifying the stages of a research project. These are all elements required at Confirmation, and the intensive is intended to accelerate students’ preparation toward that goal. The subject will be collaboratively taught to reflect the diversity of approaches to research across the many disciplines in the faculty.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of a range of key methodological approaches in historiography over the past half century;
  • have an enhanced awareness of the range of contemporary scholarship in their discipline or interdisciplinary area;
  • demonstrate an ability to reflect on, critically evaluate and synthesise the contemporary research literatures relevant to their thesis topic;
  • formulate and present the research proposal for their confirmation; and
  • articulate the range of problems, concepts and theories relevant to their thesis and field of study.

1. One 2,500-word essay, due at the end of first semester (50%).
2. Written work totalling 2,500 words, due four weeks after the teaching period (50%).

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Doctor of Philosophy - Arts
Ph.D.- Arts

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