Please note that while this information is as accurate and up-to-date as possible, it does not replace the entries in the
University Prospectus and Calendar, which are authoritative statements and take priority. This handbook should be read
alongside the Academic Regulations Handbook and the Academic Quality Manual located online, and in case of conflict,
the Prospectus and Calendar take priority. The History Undergraduate Handbook (available at
http://www.keele.ac.uk/history/currentundergraduates/) includes links to relevant university documents. Furthermore, the
history programme is in a constant process of change and evolution, as new courses are introduced, policies are fine-
tuned and circumstances change. Updates may be distributed by pigeonholes, posted on the School notice boards or
circulated to students by email as and when necessary: it is your responsibility to take note of these changes.

The Director of Programmes, Professor Karen Hunt
(CBB0.028), has overall responsibility for all teaching &             First-semester Option Module essays must be
research in History.                                                  handed in before 12 noon on the Thursday of
                                                                      Week 11 (8 December 2011).
The Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr Shalini
Sharma has overall responsibility for all undergraduates              Second-semester Option Module essays must be
studying history courses.                                             handed in before 12 noon on the Thursday of
                                                                      Week 11 (3 May 2012).
You will generally retain the same Personal Tutor as last             Second-semester Sources & Debates extended
year: the lists are up on the History notice boards. This             essays must be handed in before 12 noon on the
person will now be your first contact point with the School           Thursday of Week 12 (10 May 2012).
if you have any problems or issues to discuss not best
dealt with by your seminar tutors.

CONTACT AND COMMUNICATION                                         area related to his/her own speciality (these will be
We mainly use email to distribute news and essential              confirmed nearer to the time). You will agree a title relating
information – make sure you are a registered computer             to this topic and then, over the semester, research and
user and check your email, KLE and Department notice              write an extended essay (4,000 words), with occasional
boards) at least once every three days.                           supervision meetings with your tutor. This essay will count
                                                                  for the full module mark. An alternative work-based project
TEACHING                                                          is available.
Your teaching in this year comprises three Option
Modules (two in the first semester) and the compulsory            In each module, you will be required to do an essay or its
second-semester Sources & Debates module.                         equivalent as set by your seminar tutor. Writing should be
                                                                  a creative and enjoyable experience, but you do need
Week 8 (14-18 November) in Semester 1 is designated a             certain skills. Here are some tips. Use simple sentences.
Reading Week, when there are no History lectures or               Avoid passive tenses. Do not use words you do not know
seminars.                                                         the meaning of. Check your spelling and grammar.

Each Option Module consists of 10 lectures covering               Your tutor will be looking for the following in your essay
the principal topics of the course. Attendance at lectures        (and in your examination answers) which you might
is essential because the written examinations are based           consider using as a check-list:
on the lecture courses plus supplementary reading.
(Reading lists are handed out at the first lecture.) In                  How well informed are you?
addition, each module includes an introductory meeting,                  Have you understood the implications of the
6 hour-long seminars and an essay hand-back meeting.                 question set?
It is a course regulation that attendance at seminars                    Have you marshalled your material effectively?
is compulsory. Your seminar contributions form a part                    Do you understand the issues of sources,
of your assessment.                                                  methodology and historiography underpinning your
The Sources & Debates module will bring you into                         Do you present your argument and its supporting
contact with questions of sources and historiography.                evidence in a coherent fashion?
Instead of the usual module pattern, you will attend a
course of lectures on general issues relating to history:
why it is important, how it is studied and practical
discussion of the historian’s skills and sources used
(from local history to the internet). You will also sign up
with a tutor who will be offering supervision on a broad
Portfolio Work                                                   of your personal progress file. The forms are intended to
                                                                 help you reflect on your progress through your programme
You are required to complete a portfolio for Sources and         of study, and to see it as an organic whole, rather than just
Debates. At each lecture of the module (except the first)        as a collection of separate modules. They are also
a sheet of questions will be circulated to all students.         intended to help you reflect on the skills you have acquired
You are required, on the basis of the lecture and the            throughout your course. As such they may prove useful
recommended reading, to answer ONE question from                 when applying for jobs.
each lecture in not more than 200 words. The complete            Students who attend all seminars, make the required
portfolio should not exceed 1000 words. It should be             presentation/s (if any), and make some contributions on
handed in to the tutor who is supervising your project           the basis of their reading can expect a mark in the range
along with the essay outline in Week 7.                          40-60%. Students who prepare well for seminars and
                                                                 make regular, useful contributions to the discussion may
Students who do not hand in their portfolios will have           score more highly. Marks as high as 90% are only given
their essay marked for a maximum of 40% and be issued            for really outstanding performance throughout the course.
with a School warning.                                           Those whose contributions are poor or non-existent will
                                                                 score no more than 20%.
                                                                 Although marks are not directly deducted for absences,
The first year can in some ways be seen as a ‘practice’          clearly if you are not present without good reason, then you
or ‘experiment’. You can have a number of attempts at            cannot be participating well in class, and this is likely to be
essays and exams without coming to grief in your                 reflected in your total. If you have good reason for your
degree. The Second Year is a ‘step up’ intellectually            absence, please ring your tutor or the office in advance
because your marks count as part of your final degree.           and later confirm your excuse in writing. Medical
You will need to work harder. If you do not, you will come       certificates must be provided for two or more absences for
unstuck in the first set of exams. Your extended essay           medical reasons.
for Sources & Debates, or work experience project,
counts for your whole module mark.                               Written work - 40%

On the other hand, the weighting of your assessment in           Continuous assessment is primarily based on your written
each Option Module is generally as follows, though               work, usually an essay. The academic marking criteria are
some modules may deviate from this pattern. Details of           given in the History Undergraduate Handbook. Essays
the assessment of each module will be in that module’s           should be based on wide reading (and on more than just
handbook.                                                        general textbooks). Over-reliance on encyclopaedias
                                                                 (online or otherwise) will be penalised.
 Continuous Assessment                      Exam                  Essays must be word-processed, and must be
 Essay          Seminar Preparation,                                  submitted both as hard copy and in electronic
                Portfolio &                                           form (see below). It is up to you to present your essay
                Performance                                           in a legible form. Leave substantial left and right
 40%            20%                         40%                       margins (approx. 3 cm each). Use double-spacing and
                                                                      a font size of 12 point. Indent the beginning of
Portfolios & Contribution in Seminars                                 paragraphs or leave a clear line between each
                                                                      paragraph. Poorly-presented essays will be penalised.
You will be assessed on your participation in seminars –          Essays displaying poor or incorrect use of English
on whether you have done sufficient preparatory reading               will be penalised. There is no excuse in essays or
and thinking, and whether you are willing and able to                 other written work produced in the student’s own time
contribute to the discussion.                                         for grammatical or spelling errors. Please check your
                                                                      grammar and spelling. An internally produced guide,
You will also be required to keep a portfolio, which will             Studying History, is available online on the History
help tutors assess your level of preparation for each                 web pages at
seminar. This will be a short report prepared for each                http://www.keele.ac.uk/history/currentundergraduates/.
seminar. The report could be a variety of things: short               For help with punctuation and grammar please consult
answers to a series of questions; a set of notes; an                  L. Truss, Eats, Shoots and Leaves (2004) and/or the
exercise on a specific source; an essay plan. Your tutors             recently published Oxford English Dictionary for
will let you know what they require. A copy of the report             Students (2006). The marks awarded on academic
will be collected at the beginning or end of each seminar             criteria will be reduced for poor English according to
(keep another copy as an aid to your revision). The                   the following tariff:
complete portfolio should be no longer than 2,000 words.              (a) the penalty for consistently poor grammar, such
Tutors may mark portfolios on a weekly basis, review                        that it makes the argument difficult to follow, is 10
them half way through the seminar course, or mark them                      marks;
all at the end. There is no standard prescribed response.             (b) the penalty for poor punctuation, paragraphing
You should expect your tutor to outline his/her approach                    and sentence structure is 5 to 10 marks.
at the start of the module. As students, you will need            Provide a full bibliography. At the end of the essay
to get used to different methods of teaching.                         list those books and articles you have used.
                                                                      (a) The failure to give a full bibliography carries a
You will also be expected to hand in a self-assessment                      penalty of 10 marks;
form with your essay. Again keep your own copy as part
     (b) the failure to set the bibliography out correctly         Undergraduate Studies, and MUST be supported 1) by a
         carries a penalty of 5 marks (see the History             completed extenuating circumstances form (available at
         Undergraduate Handbook for examples of how                http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/aa/newacadregpages/forms.
         to set out references and bibliographic entries).         htm) by EVIDENCE in the form of a medical note or other
                                                                   supporting information, as appropriate, and 3) by evidence
    Referencing                                                   of the work on the essay completed at the date of your
     Your essay should include referencing (use the                request. The Director of Undergraduate Studies in History
      footnoting function via ‘Insert’ on your computer).          alone has authority to grant permission to submit late work
      (a) Essays lacking any references will lose 10               to students registered for the History programme, and
           marks;                                                  within these strict limitations.
      (b) Incorrect referencing (e.g. absence of page              Such extensions are very much an emergency measure.
           numbers) carries a penalty of 5 marks.                  As a guide, they will only be granted in clear and genuine
 Plagiarism                                                       cases, such as a sudden illness, a last-minute death in the
     Failure to acknowledge and indicate direct                    family or the like. You will be required to show evidence
     quotations is plagiarism (this applies even when the          such as a medical certificate. Extensions will not be
     odd word has been changed or the word-order has               granted in the following cases:
     been altered). Plagiarised essays are liable to a
     ZERO mark, risking overall failure in that module and
                                                                      You have other essays to submit at the same time.
     possible University disciplinary action.
                                                                       Time management is a basic skill you must learn; if
 Word-length
                                                                       several deadlines coincide, then it is up to you to
     Unless you have been told otherwise, your essay
                                                                       arrange your study accordingly. Essays can be
     should be between 1,700 and 2,000 words long.
                                                                       submitted ahead of time!
     Essays which exceed the word-limit by 10% or more
     will incur a penalty of 10 marks.                                Because you have not been feeling very well. If you
Please hand in ONE hard copy of your essay to the School               are seriously ill, especially close to the deadline, then
office, and deposit ONE electronic copy into the KLE, by               this may well constitute due grounds for an extension,
the due date (e-mail attachments are NOT acceptable).                  but not a bout of ‘Keele 'flu’ in the fortnight before, or a
Note that electronic copies will be automatically                      hangover (and yes, this has been tried in the past!). In
scanned for plagiarism. Failure to submit a copy via                   the case of long-running ailments, it is your
KLE will incur a mark of ZERO.                                         responsibility to arrange an extension well before the
Ensure that the following are clearly printed on your front
page:                                                                 A key text was not available from the library. Again, do
    Module title and number                                           not leave your work until the last minute. If it looks as if
    Name of your seminar tutor                                        this is going to be a serious problem, your seminar
    Your student number (all essays are marked                        tutor may be able to suggest alternative sources.
        anonymously)                                                  There is too long a print queue at the Library. There
    Essay title                                                       always is at such times of the year. If using the
                                                                       university system, you need to print your essay out in
Make sure that your essay is stapled together through the              good time.
top left-hand corner. Please do not use paper clips (they
come off) or hand in essays in any type of plastic folder or          The computer spontaneously combusted/the goat ate
binder (removing these is very time-consuming). You                    your essay/etc. It is your responsibility to look after
would be wise to retain a duplicate.                                   your work. Always keep back-up copies of work on a
                                                                       computer and hold on to earlier drafts. As above, it
You must also hand in a module evaluation form and a                   may be possible to accept a draft or disk version as a
self-assessment form along with your essay.                            stand-in submission, but you must check first.
                                                                      Because you could not come in on the day in
                                                                       question. Obviously, if your car breaks down and you
                                                                       live in Chester or you break your leg while walking
    The exams are based on the lectures AND                            across to hand in your essay, you have a good case,
    additional recommended reading on the lectures.                    but you must contact the Department as soon as
    Essays which simply reproduce lecture notes                        possible. But otherwise do not leave submitting your
    will score low marks.                                              essay until the very last day if there is any possibility
                                                                       of your being away or otherwise engaged; you can
    A ZERO mark may be recorded for failure to                         submit it earlier, instead.
    attend the examination without good cause.
                                                                   In other words, extensions will be granted freely in
                                                                   emergencies, but only in emergencies, and must be
                                                                   arranged in advance unless this is absolutely impossible.
                                                                   All this may seem very brutal and uncaring, but these
LATE ESSAYS WILL SCORE ZERO                                        essays count towards your final degree marks and thus
                                                                   must be treated with the same rigour as exams. These are
LATE ESSAYS will be accepted only in extenuating                   University rules, not an invention of the School.
circumstances of a medical nature or its equivalent,
which must be agreed to by the Director of
If you are granted permission to submit late under                    FEEDBACK
Extenuating circumstances rules, you WILL have to                     It is important for you not only to know your academic
produce the work you have done up to that point.                      progress but also learn from your successes and
                                                                      difficulties. Comments on coursework essays will be
University policy on absence for illness and other good               provided, generally on a standard sheet. You will usually
cause can be found in the Academic Regulations and                    also receive comments on your seminar performance,
Guidance for Students and Staff at                                    especially if above or below average standard. These
http://www.keele.ac.uk/admin/ps/governance/acts/regulation            comments will be given to you at the module feed back
s/regulation10/#d.en.20020                                            meeting. The feedback meeting is a compulsory part of the
                                                                      module and non-attendance will result in the issue of a
                                                                      departmental warning.
At the end of each semester you will sit one two-hour
                                                                      In the first semester, you will meet your Personal Tutor to
examination for each Option Module, usually worth 40%
                                                                      discuss your marks and progress in the first year. Early in
of the total mark. A written examination tests your ability
                                                                      the second semester, you will have a similar opportunity to
to work under pressure and within strict time constraints.
                                                                      assess the first semester of this year.
Whilst the general points for essays apply, we are
looking here for ability to construct a well-evidenced
argument in answer to the question asked. Poor answers                RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
are those which do not address the question asked. The                The following statements, giving reference to information
written examination tests your ability to think and perform           given in university documents are detailed below:
as an historian.
                                                                      The University’s Code of Practice on Equality and Diversity
A ZERO mark may be recorded for failure to attend the                 can be found at http://www.keele.ac.uk/hrss/equalitydiversity/
examination without good reason. In any re-sit the
maximum mark available for the whole module will be                   Statements on all university procedures and policies
40%.                                                                  relating to plagiarism; assessment procedures and
                                                                      procedures when students fail assessments; complaints
Scripts displaying poor or incorrect use of English will be           procedures; appeals, absence for illness and other good
penalised. Please check your grammar and spelling.                    cause for absence; academic warnings can be found at
Essays and examinations are marked on a 100 point                     PLAGIARISM & CRASS DERIVATION
scale:                                                                Plagiarism, the unacknowledged copying or close
        70 plus   First class                                         paraphrasing of passages from published or unpublished
        60-69     Upper Second                                        sources, is a form of cheating. In other words, if you copy
        50-59     Lower Second                                        material out of other works, even if you have carried out
        40-49     Third                                               superficial paraphrasing and/or editing, without making it
        0- 39     Fail                                                clear that this is what you have done, then you are
                                                                      plagiarising. If you are not sure quite where plagiarism
OVERALL ASSESSMENT                                                    begins, then this is something you might want to raise with
The University Code of Practice on Assessment is at                   one of your seminar tutors or your Personal Tutor.
ssessment.htm. You should note that:                                  Plagiarism in written work at any level will be referred to
                                                                      the School’s Academic Conduct Officer, and if proven, to
(a)    Second Year marks count towards your final                     the Director of Academic Services and renders the
       degree assessment.                                             offender liable to University disciplinary action. A
                                                                      statement of university policy on plagiarism and other
(b)    Written work and exams are subject to a policy of              academic dishonesty can be found in the Academic
       second marking.                                                Regulations and Guidance for Students and Staff at
(c)    Exam scripts and all essays are kept for                       regulations8/#d.en.19990 (section 12 of regulation 8).
       adjudication by the external examiners. (If you                Guidance on the avoidance of plagiarism can be found at
       want a copy of your essays for revision, you will              http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/aa/landt/links/plagiarism.htm
       need to make second copies.)
                                                                      Crass Derivation occurs when a student has cut and pasted
DISABILITY                                                            work from a web-site or book but cited its source. Although
                                                                      this cannot be treated as cheating like plagiarism, the
Students with visual impairment, mobility or hearing
                                                                      student has deployed little effort or intellectual skill in writing
difficulties should inform the Director of Undergraduate
                                                                      the essay and the work will also be awarded zero.
Studies as soon as possible so that we may assist you
as far as possible. Students registered dyslexic should
                                                                                                                  Dr Shalini Sharma
inform the Director of Undergraduate Studies
                                                                                                  Director of Undergraduate Studies
                                                                                                                   September 2011
The University policy on long-term disability is at

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