What is Local History?


Do you wonder what sort of people lived in your local community in the past or worshipped in its church? Or how the community might have been affected by major historical events? Or what might have been happening there during different periods in history? If so, this introduction to local history may be just what you are seeking.

It will concentrate on the approaches, sources and methods used by local historians in researching the history of the manor, the parish, the town and their populations and on the documents available from different time periods. It seeks to show how varied and exciting the study of local communities can be. It will also advise you how and from where to collect relevant material and will help you to communicate the results of your research in writing. 

For students considering studying for a Diploma or online Advanced Diploma in Local History this course would provide excellent preparation.

Programme details

Course Starts: 23 Jan 2024

Week 1: Introduction: What is local history?

Week 2: Investigating the manor

Week 3: Investigating the parish

Week 4: Investigating the town

Week 5: Mediaeval local history sources

Week 6: Early modern local history sources

Week 7: Eighteenth and nineteenth century local history sources 

Week 8: Twentieth century local history sources

Week 9: Counting the population

Week 10: Websites for local history


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Description Costs
Course Fee £257.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit, you are a full-time student in the UK or a student on a low income, you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees. Please see the below link for full details:

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Heather Falvey

Heather is an active local historian with various research interests including sixteenth and seventeenth century social unrest. She has published various articles, three books of fifteenth century wills, a collection of eighteenth century recipes and a collection of early nineteenth century letters.

Course aims

To encourage students to discover for themselves what local history is, to give them an introduction to its contents and methodology, and to demonstrate where evidence for it may be found.

Course Objectives:

  • To equip students to undertake further courses in local and social history. 
  • To encourage students to pursue their interest in local history, whether on their own or with a group.
  • To enable students to undertake local history research using various source materials.

Teaching methods

The course will comprise an introductory session; eight informal illustrated lectures, each followed by class discussion of documents (which will be supplied); a concluding discussion of issues raised during the course and practical guidance on suitable websites for historical research.

During the various sessions students will be introduced to different types of sources that might be available to them so that subsequently they can conduct their own local history research. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

  • have gained an introductory knowledge of local history and its sources and methods;
  • have learned how to collect and interpret material and communicate the results logically in writing;
  • have gained confidence in and enthusiasm for the subject.

Assessment methods

Students will be expected to write one short assignment (1,500 words maximum) evaluating some examples of local history. The source material will be supplied. This will be assessed, but not graded.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an enrolment form (Word) or enrolment form (Pdf).

Level and demands

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)