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Certificate of Achievement

Randal Oulton

has completed the following course:

Learning from the Past: A Guide for the Curious Researcher

The University of Nottingham and British Library

'"Learning from the Past" equipped learners with the skills they need to conduct historical research. It did so in two ways. First, by engaging learners in controversies about methods and approaches and offering them advice about practical aspects of research. And second, by encouraging them to think critically about the history of phenomena that are shaping the present.

3 weeks, 4 hours per week

Dean Blackburn

Lecturer in Modern British History

The University of Nottingham

Professor Maiken Umbach

Professor of Modern History

The University of Nottingham


Learning outcomes

  • Develop a research project on a topic of your choice
  • Assess the relevant scholarship and existing research
  • Collect and evaluate relevant primary sources from a variety of genres (written text, images/photos, oral history, recorded sound, web archive)
  • Debate your research plan with educators and other learners, be inspired by their ideas
  • Evaluate how history influences the contemporary world


Week 1 - Language and History

  • Why does the past matter today?
  • History as language – and how to crack the code….
  • Reading critically

Week 2 - Images and Artefacts

  • Photographs: A Window on the Past?
  • Maps and Historical Images as Sources
  • Finding Sources in Library Catalogues and Archives

Week 3 - Thinking Outside the Box…

  • The impact of the present on understanding the past
  • Sound Collections and Oral History
  • Digital Sources & the Archived Web
  • Plan your own research project

Issued on 15th May 2021

The person named on this certificate has completed the activities in the transcript above. For more information about Certificates of Achievement and the effort required to become eligible, visit

This certificate represents proof of learning. It is not a formal qualification, degree, or part of a degree.

Free online course:

Learning from the Past: A Guide for the Curious Researcher

The University of Nottingham