#PotW: Day for new research students at the Institute of Historical Research – 30 Sep

The Institute of Historical Research is delighted to welcome those commencing research degrees in history and related disciplines in London, the South East and throughout the UK. Over the course of an afternoon, we shall introduce the IHR and its remit to assist and promote historical research of all sorts. Join us for lunch and then learn about our library, seminars, conferences, publications, website and training in specialised research skills and how they can help you. Hear also about the History Lab, the postgraduate support network run by and for those undertaking research degrees in history. Free to all new research students in history and in historical subjects from other disciplines. Venue: Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7H Date and time: Tuesday 30 September 2014, 12:30 – 16:30. Register for free here. Programme (TBC) 12.45   Lunch and Registration 1.30     Introduction by Professor Lawrence Goldman, IHR Director 1.50     Training courses – Dr Simon Trafford, IHR Research Training Officer 2.10     Digital and Online Training – Dr Matt Phillpott (TBC) 2.25     Palaeography – Dr Jenny Stratford 2.40     Seminars – Professor Sally Alexander (Goldsmiths) (TBC) 3.00     Refreshments 3.20     Information services – Dr Jane Winters, Head of Publications and Kate Wilcox, Librarian (TBC) 3.35     Senate House Library – Dr Jordan Landes 4.10     Introduction to The History Lab – Zoe Thomas (TBC) 4.30    ...

Celebrating great garden designers

This autumn sees the launch of the new MA Garden and Landscape History at the Institute of Historical Research. We asked course tutor Barbara Simms to share with us her thoughts about the relevance of garden and landscape history and to suggest why you might wish to undertake this MA.    By Barbara Simms 2013 saw a year-long celebration of the 400th birthday of André le Nôtre, gardener of King Louis XIV, who designed the gardens of Versailles and over thirty parks in France. Similarly, in 2016, there will be a programme of events to celebrate the birth 300 years ago of the great landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, who changed the face of eighteenth-century England, designing country estates and mansions, moving hills and making flowing lakes and serpentine rivers. The works of these two renowned men, encompassing the formal geometric garden on the one hand and those imitating nature on the other, were not just the result of their innovative design concepts but were influenced by the art, architecture, literature, politics and the society in which they lived. Garden and landscape history is a fascinating and multidisciplinary subject and  researching the history of a garden or landscape of any period is an absorbing and exciting activity that draws together documentation, maps, paintings, horticulture and other information to tell the story of the garden’s development and the people involved in its creation. Researching and recording historic parks and gardens can also have a practical application as it highlights their value and the contribution they make to the landscape. It can help to protect them and assist with restoration or conservation....

Why is training so important for professionals working in the legislative environment?

The LLM is a course in International Corporate Governance, Financial Regulation and Economic Law, which offers a unique opportunity for academic and professional legal training for candidates who are already working in the financial markets or wishing to pursue a career in this sector. In this guest post Dr Mahmood Bagheri tells us more about how the LLM fits into wider issues of laws and regulations of financial markets. Ordinary people’s lives and living standards are strongly affected by changes and developments in the capital markets, stock exchanges and banking sector. Whether a country is developed or developing, the forces of globalisation have inevitably internationalised financial markets to the extent that a crisis in one part of the world affects the lives of people in other parts of the world. The financial crisis of 1997, which hit the tiger economies of South East Asia, and the 2008 global financial crisis are examples of how this internationalised financial market can affect everybody. Such crises and scandals underline both the important role which financial markets play and also the perils which they inherently entail. This is why comprehensive and interdisciplinary knowledge at all levels related to the operation of such markets is essential. In response to this need, we offer an LLM in International Corporate Governance, Financial Regulations and Economic Law to better equip those who are already employed in the sector, as well as those who have just graduated in law, business, economics or in similar subjects but wish to take a postgraduate course. The LLM is all about enabling professionals to learn the skills, expertise and knowledge required to minimise negative impact in the sector and to help those...
Are MOOC’s the future or a dead end?

Are MOOC’s the future or a dead end?

Are MOOC’s the answer to the problems facing Higher Education or are they a threat that will damage learning at degree level? In this blog post we take a quick look at some of the prevailing issues. Massive Open Online courses (MOOC’s) have major issues to overcome.  This was the view put forward by Ormond Simpson at last year’s Research and Innovation in Distance Education and e-learning (RIDE) conference. Those creating the courses need to solve the problem that not everyone joining a course will be at the same level of education or have a similar skill set to one another.  Course creators need to adapt their materials to a variety of learner types and provide a workable apparatus for helping students who fall behind the others. RIDE2013 presentation: A puzzled look at MOOCs from Centre for Distance Education But there is a more fundamental issue with MOOC’s.  Are they actually appropriate as a model for Higher Education at all?  BBC Radio 4 has recently asked a similar question on their ‘My Teacher is an app’ series of shows. On the one hand MOOC’s might help to democratise learning by enabling those that would never have been able to afford university training to receive it for free with only an internet connection required. On the other hand, MOOC’s can never replicate the interaction between students and student and lecturer. A University degree provides so much more than learning materials. BBC Radio 4 “The University of the Future”, My Teacher is an App Some might say that this doesn’t matter. Creating an environment in which almost anyone can learn from...

A Workshop Exploring Best Practice for Research Data Management in History

For the last year the Institute of Historical Research has been working with the Humanities Research Institute (University of Sheffield) and the Department of History (University of Hull) to improve data management skills for History postgraduates and early career researchers. We quickly caught up with Dr Matt Phillpott to find out more about the forthcoming workshop and the project in general. What is the project aim? History DMT (Data Management Training and Guidance) seeks to integrate best practice, good principles, and skills of research data management within the postgraduate curriculum and among early career historians through a series of specialist workshops at London, Hull, and Sheffield and through the development of a free online training course dedicated to the research data types that historians are most likely to come across in their research. The project is part of the AHRC Collaborative Skills Development strand and aims to make a real contribution to the study of History across the UK.   How can I take part? Our next workshop will take place at the University of Sheffield on Monday 14 April 2014. I strongly recommend the day to anyone working on a research project in the History discipline. Learning how to manage data is vital for historians. Inevitably your research will suffer if you have not properly worked out what data you will be producing, how you are going to store and structure it, and how you will ensure that it is useful beyond the initial research project itself. At this, our third workshop, we will be showcasing the online course giving you the first opportunity to try it out and...
Managing your History research: from creating to sharing

Managing your History research: from creating to sharing

If you are a History postgraduate or early career researcher and would like to learn more about managing your research, then please sign up to the Institute of Historical Research’s forthcoming workshop on managing your research. The workshop includes presentations about data management, open access, and digital tools. It takes place in London on 27 February 2014 and is FREE to attend (bursaries are also available for travel).Project manager, Dr Matt Phillpott tells us more. What is research data? During the research process historians produce a whole heap of materials including notes, quotations, statistics, interview transcripts, images, databases, spread sheets and much more besides. We consider this part of the research process, but rarely consider it in terms of producing data that needs to be conserved and archived in its own right. I think it’s still true that historians still tend to talk in terms of final publishable content, and not in terms of the underlying materials (or data) that the publications rely upon. This was certainly true of me when I was researching my doctorate study. My work mainly focused on unearthing the sources used by its author to write a Protestant history in the sixteenth-century. I didn’t have a database or a spread sheet, but what I did produce were lists of sources divided up by page number and topic heading. With just a little bit more thought it would have been easy for me to produce something meaningful in terms of ‘data’ entirely separate from the final thesis. Instead I added an abbreviated form as an appendix, and the rest remains on my hard drive, in...

New Masters courses from the Institute of Historical Research

Are you thinking about studying History at Masters Level?  The national research centre for History, the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) are now offering three different Masters courses for you to choose from. MA Historical Research The IHR have long run a Masters course which has always changed with the times. This year we are offering a new, improved, and revised MA in Historical Research. The course is tailored to individual research interests, allowing students to focus on the issues and controversies which interest them the most. Students are able to take advantage of the various short courses run by the IHR… and have done so with profit.   With its rich programme of research seminars and events on offer, the IHR is clearly a stimulating environment in which to undertake a Masters programme…. – Professor Roey Sweet, Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester, External Examiner 2013 The course is devised of three modules offering key skills in historical approaches, sources and methods. Field trips and museum visits are a key part of the training, uniquely available from our central London site. We not only provide in-house training from our resident academics, but also bring in other experts from across the country to ensure that our training is not only excellent value for money, but offers the opportunity to study under many of the experts in their field wherever in the country they might reside. Continue here to find out more   MRes in Historical Research For those students particularly interested in continuing their education to the PhD level or following a career in research in industry or the...