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Undergraduate Diploma in English Local History

Key facts

TypeOxford Qualification - Part-time
Start dateOct 2014
Subject area(s)Local History
FeesFees for 2014-2015 are £2,030 (EU students) and £3,820 (Non-EU students). (You may pay by instalment.)
Application statusApplications being accepted
Application deadlineThu 31 July 2014
Course contactIf you have any questions about this course, please email ppaward@conted.ox.ac.uk or telephone 01865 270369.

Overview

The Diploma in Local History is a part-time, modular course, lasting two years. The level is that of a second-year undergraduate programme. The course covers the main themes and sources of English local history and the techniques needed for interpreting historical evidence. No formal qualifications are required and the course is designed for anyone interested in exploring the history of local communities.

It provides an opportunity to learn from tutors specially chosen for their expertise in particular subjects. Guidance from a tutor and regular contact with fellow mature students within the context of a small, friendly and supportive group are especially important features.

Preparatory Course
For those with no prior experience of studying local history, the preparatory course "What is Local History?", offered in September, is a useful foundation. There will be six two-hour sessions on Monday and Thursday evenings for three weeks, starting on Monday 1 September 2014. The course will provide an introduction to the sources, themes, and methods used by local historians in recording the history of the manor, the parish, and the town. It will include a visit to the Oxfordshire Record Office. The course is accredited, and one short piece of written work (1,000 words maximum) will be required. Although it may not be a condition of entry to the Diploma, many candidates choose to take the preparatory course as an introduction to the Diploma and to give them an opportunity to meet future members of the class. For further details, contact the Weekly Class Programme Office at ppweekly@conted.ox.ac.uk or telephone 01865 280892 / 280893.

For one student's experience of the course please click on our student spotlight.

Open Evening
There will be an Open Evening on Thursday 8 May 2014, from 6-8pm, when you are welcome to visit the Department to meet the course director and discuss the course.

Description

Diploma: Structure and Syllabus

The Diploma has two modules, which divide into ‘Medieval’ and ‘Modern’ at about the year 1530. You can take the modules in either order. This year the ‘Modern’ module will run from October 2014 to June 2015. Classes will be held on Monday evenings, 7pm - 9pm, but there will be two full Saturday sessions in Michaelmas Term (one of which is an Induction Day for new students on Saturday 4 October 2014), one in Hilary Term, and three in Trinity Term. The Saturday sessions are from 10am - 12pm and 1pm - 3pm. There will also be a residential weekend in Oxford from Saturday 8 November to Sunday 9 November 2014.

Module 2: English Local History from c. 1530, starting in October 2014
This module covers the period from the Reformation to the twentieth century. It concentrates on local communities - of family, household, village, town, parish, city, suburb or workplace - and the lives, education, religion, work and leisure of their members. It explores the impact of central government on local government and the measures taken to relieve poverty and improve public health, as well as the effects of civil and national war and industrial and agrarian revolution. The evidence ranges from parish registers, census returns, Parliamentary papers, social surveys, and estate records and maps to the personal testimony of wills, letters and diaries. In addition, there is the unwritten evidence of landscape archaeology and ecclesiastical and vernacular architecture.

Module 1: English Local History to c.1530, starting in October 2015
This module covers the period from the Anglo-Saxons to the eve of the Reformation. Its emphasis is on local communities, and the lives, occupations, beliefs and environments of those who formed them. The communities are those of family and household, manor and village, parish, town and guild. The evidence is exciting and diverse, extending from Anglo-Saxon charters and place-names, through Domesday Book, to the letters and wills of the later medieval period. The unwritten evidence is that of archaeological finds, the landscape of countryside and town, and buildings, including houses, farm buildings, market halls, and parish churches.

Who is it for?
This course requires a high level of motivation, enthusiasm and interest in local history, and a willingness to devote time to study over a two-year period. You do not need any formal academic qualifications in history. In previous years the course has attracted people from various occupations, including acting, healthcare, law, local government, medicine, photography, publishing, retail, social work, and teaching. After the closing date for receipt of applications, you may be invited for an informal interview.

Programme details

English Local History from c.1530.



This module covers the period from the Reformation to the twentieth century. It concentrates on local communities - of family, household, village, town, parish, city, suburb or workplace - and the lives, education, religion, work and leisure of their members. It explores the impact of central government on local government and the measures taken to relieve poverty and improve public health, as well as the effects of civil and national war and industrial and agrarian revolution. The evidence ranges from parish registers, census returns, Parliamentary papers, social surveys, and estate records and maps to the personal testimony of wills, letters and diaries. In addition, there is the unwritten evidence of landscape archaeology and ecclesiastical and vernacular architecture.

Provisional Timetable for 2014 - 2015

Michaelmas Term 2014
Sat 4 October Induction Day
6 October Introduction to the Early Modern Period
13 October The Reformation in the Localities
20 October Parish Life and Records, I
Sat 25 October Family and Household, I and II
27 October Popular Politics and Rebellions
3 November Local History, Politics and Government
Sat 8 November Weekend School: The Early Modern Town
Sun 9 November Approaches, Debates, and Sources
17 November Agrarian History
24 November Rural Change and Enclosure
1 December The Evidence of Buildings

Hilary Term 2015
Sat 10 January The Civil War
12 January Introduction to the Modern Period
19 January The Evidence of the Landscape, I
26 January The Evidence of the Landscape, II
2 February Market and County Towns since c. 1800
9 February Industrial Towns
16 February Education
23 February Poor Relief
2 March Public Health

Trinity Term 2015
Sat 18 April Post Reformation Religion and Community
27 April Culture and Leisure
11 May The Nineteenth-Century Countryside
Sat 16 May Population and People since 1800
18 May Travel and Transport
25 May Special Subject I or II (Bank Holiday)
1 June Special Subject I or II
Sat 6 June Presentation Day
8 June Special Subject I or II
15 June Special Subject I or II
22 June Special Subject I or II

Summary of Course Requirements


Attendance:
Each module involves the equivalent of 35 two-hour sessions; students must attend a minimum of 75% of these as well as the study sessions during the residential weekend.

Course Assignments:
For each module, students will be required to complete four out of a choice of five written assignments of up to 2,500 words in length and one portfolio of work on primary sources of 5,000 words in length.

Full regulations will be sent with each offer of a place.

Course aims

Aims and Learning Outcomes

• To provide you with a survey of the main themes of English local history;
• To introduce you to a wide variety of documentary, archaeological and other sources used in studying the local community, and to help you to interpret them critically;
• To prepare you for further study of local history at a more advanced level;
• To awaken your interest in areas and periods of local history that you may not yet have encountered;
• To develop the analytical and logical communication skills needed to present historical argument;
• To build on the varied academic and professional experiences of people from differing backgrounds.

At the end of the course you should:
• Be able to demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of the main themes and sources of English local history;
• Know where to look for further information on a particular topic;
• Be able to compare the history of one region with another and to fit the history of a local community into a wider national framework;
• Be equipped and know how to undertake independent work in local history;
• Be able to analyse and interpret a variety of documentary and non-documentary sources and to relate one to the other;
• Be able to understand and evaluate conflicting uses and interpretations of evidence;
• Have developed an awareness of continuity and change within local communities;
• Have developed an empathy with earlier periods of history enabling you to avoid making judgements based on contemporary values;
• Have a firm grasp of the nature and development of history;
• Be able to think coherently and analytically and be able to communicate the results in structured and logical written or oral argument;
• Be able to work independently and manage the use of your academic time;
• Be able to work within a close group in both supportive and supported roles;
• Be able to select, interpret, and present appropriate maps, photographs, diagrams and other material to illustrate your arguments;
• Be able to present references and bibliographies in an appropriate and scholarly manner;
• Have mastered the techniques of researching in a variety of libraries and local archives;
• Be able to recognize the main architectural styles of ecclesiastical and vernacular buildings and understand how and why they evolved;
• Be able to interpret the archaeological features of a local landscape or the plan of a former village or town from aerial photographs;
• Have developed a heightened awareness of your surrounding environment.

Preparatory Course

The preparatory course, entitled What is Local History?; will take place in the early autumn. There will be six sessions of two hours, which will run on Mondays and Thursdays for three weeks, starting on Monday 1 September 2014. The course will provide an introduction to the sources, themes, and methods used by local historians in recording the history of the manor, the parish, and the town. It will include a visit to the Oxfordshire Record Office.

The course is accredited, and one short piece of written work will be required. Although it may not be a condition of entry to the Diploma, many candidates choose to take the preparatory course as an introduction to the Diploma and to give them an opportunity to meet future members of the class.

Certification

Award and Credit Transfer

Successful students will be awarded an Oxford University Undergraduate Diploma in Local History. Outstanding performance will qualify for a Distinction. You will be invited to receive your diploma at the annual Awards Ceremony of the Department for Continuing Education, held at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre.

The Diploma carries a Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) rating of 120 points at FHEQ Level 5. You may be able to transfer these credit points to other HE institutions. If you are considering taking advantage of transferring credit, you are recommended to consult our Registry (email: registry@conted.ox.ac.uk or tel: 01865 280355).

Open University credit
The Open University Arts Faculty has approved the Diploma in Local History as part of its Collaborative Scheme. This course can count towards the FHEQ Level 5 element of the Open University’s BA in History. It is advisable to check with the OU on the level and the amount of credit that you are permitted to transfer into any OU degree.

Further information is available from the Open University Regional Centres, the Credit Transfer Centre or the OU website: www.open.ac.uk.

IT requirements

This course uses the Department’s online assignment submission system. In order to prepare and submit your course assignments you will need access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification. Students of this course may use the student computing facilities provided in Departmental buildings.

Teaching methods

Course Entry Requirements

This course requires a high level of motivation, enthusiasm and interest in local history, and a willingness to devote time to study over a two-year period. You do not need any formal academic qualifications in history. In previous years the course has attracted people from various occupations, including acting, banking, healthcare, conservation, law, local government, medicine, photography, publishing, retail, social work, and teaching. After the closing date for receipt of applications, you will be invited for an informal interview.

Student support
Academic support will be provided by the Director of the course, Dr Jonathan Healey, and guidance on specific topics will be given by the tutors who teach them. The Course Director may be contacted at any time during office hours on 01865 280161, or by e-mail: jonathan.healey@conted.ox.ac.uk

If you have little or no recent experience of study or examinations, don't be deterred from applying for a place. Help and guidance will be provided as part of the course. In addition the Department runs a programme of study skills workshops designed to enable you to develop and improve the skills needed for effective study. For further information and to book a place, please email: studyskills@conted.ox.ac.uk or contact 01865 280892.

For advice on educational opportunities, credit transfer, disability and/or special needs provision and sources of funding, please email: registry@conted.ox.ac.uk or contact the Registry on 01865 280355.

Teaching Staff


Dr Jonathan Healey, Course Director of the Diploma in English Local History, is a University Lecturer in English Local and Social History at OUDCE and a Fellow of Kellogg College. He is an early-modern social historian, and has written articles on poverty, famine, epidemics, and popular politics. His first book, a study of the lives of the poor in seventeenth-century Lancashire, is due out in 2014.

Paul Barnwell is Director of Studies in the Historic Environment at OUDCE and a Fellow of Kellogg College. He previously worked for the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and English Heritage. He is a former President of the Vernacular Architecture Group and a member of the Councils of the Ecclesiological Society and the British Archaeological Association. His current research interests include medieval parish churches, and the cultural and landscape contexts of medieval buildings.

James Bond, formerly Assistant Keeper of the Field Section of Oxfordshire Museum Services, moved in 1986 to North Somerset, where he now works as a freelance landscape archaeologist. His interests are wide-ranging, but his research in recent years has concentrated on the impact of monasteries on the medieval landscape. He has been a part-time tutor for OUDCE since the mid-1970s and has taught on the Local History Diploma since its inception.

Joan Dils is a Visiting Research Fellow in History at the University of Reading. She has taught on the Diploma almost since it started. Her particular research interests are local communities of Berkshire and south Oxfordshire. She is currently preparing an edition of some Tudor churchwardens’ accounts for the Berkshire Record Society.

Heather Falvey teaches various medieval and early modern local history courses, including one on riot and rebellion, c. 1380-1650. Her PhD thesis studied participation in early modern enclosure riots in two particular places in Derbyshire and Cambridgeshire, and she is continuing her research into unrest in various other communities. She has recently jointly edited for the Suffolk Records Society a volume of medieval wills.

Elizabeth Gemmill is a University Lecturer in Local History at OUDCE and a Fellow of Kellogg College. She is Director of the Weekly Class Programme and the Certificate of Higher Education. Her main research interests are in medieval local, social and economic history. Her most recent publications include an edition, Aberdeen Guild Court Records 1437-1468(Scottish History Society, 2005) and she is now writing a book on the ecclesiastical patronage of the nobility in thirteenth-century England.

Deborah Hayter has taught several courses on local and landscape history for OUDCE and for the University of Leicester in Northamptonshire. She has a particular interest in landscape history and is currently working on an edition of the Hearth Taxes for Northamptonshire.

Adrienne Rosen is an Emeritus Fellow of Kellogg College, and former Course Director of the Advanced Diploma in Local History at OUDCE. She began her career at the Victoria County History and was editor of Oxoniensia from 1997 to 2003. She specialises in early modern history, with a particular interest in towns.

Mark Smith is a University Lecturer in Local and Social History at OUDCE, Director of Studies in Local History, OUDCE, a Fellow of Kellogg College, and Librarian of the Royal Historical Society. His main interest is in the ecclesiastical history of modern England. His major work is Religion in Industrial Society: Oldham and Saddleworth, 1740-1865 (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1994).

Barrie Trinder’s career has included fifteen years as Senior Research Fellow at the Ironbridge Institute and five years as Senior Lecturer in Industrial Archaeology at the University of Northampton, and he has frequently taught at OUDCE. He is an authority on market towns and on the history of industry, and amongst his best-known publications are The Industrial Revolution in Shropshire (3rd edition, 2000), The Making of the Industrial Landscape (3rd edition, 1977), Victorian Banbury (2nd edition, 2005), and Barges and Bargemen: a social history of the Upper Severn Navigation (2005).

Liz Woolley is a part-time tutor in local history at OUDCE and a local history speaker, tour guide, researcher and writer. She specialises in the history of Oxford and Oxfordshire during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Student Support
Much of the academic support will come from the Course Director, who may be contacted at any time during office hours by students wishing to discuss matters relating to the course. In addition, the Department runs a programme of Study Skills workshops designed to enable you to develop and improve the skills needed for effective study. These workshops are free to students enrolled on the Foundation course. For full details of the programme please contact 01865 280892.

Contact Information

Course Director: Dr Jonathan Healey 01865 280161 If you would like an informal discussion on academic matters before making your application please contact Dr Healey jonathan.healey@conted.ox.ac.uk

Award Programme Office 01865 280154 / 270369
For queries on applications and admissions ppaward@conted.ox.ac.uk

Student Advice 01865 280355
For general guidance and advice, credit transfer, special needs provision, residential category and sources of funding: registry@conted.ox.ac.uk

Study Skills 01865 280892
For information about Study Skills courses: studyskills@conted.ox.ac.uk

Day & Weekend School Office 01865 270368 / 270380
For information on day schools and weekend courses: dayweek@conted.ox.ac.uk

OUDCE Reception 01865 270360
For general enquiries about OUDCE or to leave messages if other staff are not available.

Teaching outcomes

Credit Transfer Scheme and Collaborative Scheme with the Open University

Students who successfully complete this two-year course will gain 120 CATS points at FHEQ Level 5 in the Department’s Qualifications and Credit Framework. These credit points are widely recognised in terms of credit for transfer to other Higher Education institutions, including the Open University and other universities with modular course structures such as Oxford Brookes University. Opportunities vary for the transfer of credit, so students who are considering taking this course in order to transfer credit are advised to discuss the possibilities with the Department’s Registry (email: registry@conted.ox.ac.uk or telephone: on 01865 280355).

Apply for this course

How to apply

Together with the application form, you must submit (i) a reference and (ii) additional material: a written statement of about 150 words stating why you wish to undertake the course.

If possible, your referee should be a person who can comment on your academic ability and background, but where this is not possible, you should name a referee who can vouch for your motivation, commitment and potential. A reference from a family member is not acceptable.

Please read carefully the instructions on the reference form. When you have received your reference, return the sealed envelope with your application form and your statement by 31 July 2014 to:

Award Programme Administrator
Rewley House
1 Wellington Square
Oxford OX1 2JA

We will be in touch with you about your application as soon as possible after the closing date. You may be invited for an informal interview, and we will let you know as soon as we can whether your application has been successful. Please note that an offer of a place may be made conditional upon successful completion of the preparatory course 'What is Local History?'.

Late applications will be considered if there are still places on the course, but applications cannot be considered after the full Diploma course has begun. Please contact the Award Administrator on 01865 270369 to check availability.

Applications for the preparatory course should be made on the Department's standard enrolment form for weekly classes (available on request from the Weekly Class Administrator, tel 01865 280893), enclosing the fee of £125.

Click here to download the application and reference form

Non-EU students
This course is not suitable for non-EU students who do not already live in the UK before the course begins. For more information, refer to www.ukvisas.gov.uk

Fees and Additional Expenses
The fee for the 2014-2015 module is £2,030 (EU students) or £3,820 (non-EU students), payable in instalments with a non-refundable deposit of £200 (EU) or £350 (Non-EU) being required on acceptance of a place. The fee includes tuition, lunches, coffee and tea on both days, (and dinner on Saturday) during the 2014 residential weekend school at Rewley House, and morning coffee and afternoon tea during the five Saturday schools. Accommodation may be available at Rewley House during the residential weekend at an additional charge.

Funding and financial assistance
For information on student funding, please visit our website: www.conted.ox.ac.uk and follow links to `students’ and `sources of funding’. You will find information on student loans, bursaries and Professional and Career Development Loans as well as details of external sources of funding.

For more detailed information on all of the above, contact the Registry on 01865 280355 or registry@conted.ox.ac.uk.

Please read our Terms and Conditions and Student Contract before applying for this course.
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