A black and white image of female sailors on board a ship at sea


How do oral histories affect our understanding of the past, and how might they influence our future?

On this unique short course you’ll explore the growing importance of oral histories in the interpretation and representation of the past.

Guided by experts from our MA Naval History team, you’ll engage with recorded interviews relating to maritime, naval and coastal histories – from veterans in conflict, to ordinary life ashore in port communities.

Working with our partner, Legasee Educational Trust, we’ll explore the unique value of oral histories in educational, media, heritage, and research settings.

Course Details


  • Mode of study: Distance learning
  • Single Module: Maritime recollections – recording and interpreting oral histories from former mariners
  • Credits: 10 Level 5
  • Duration: 8 weeks
  • Start date: April 2023


  • £605

Course Highlights

  • Delve into fascinating episodes of local and global history through oral case studies
  • Explore how oral histories are used in educational, heritage, media and research settings, and reflect upon best practice
  • Consider the value of oral histories and how they sit alongside other forms of source material
  • Discover how oral histories can benefit both popular and academic historians
  • Learn from a team of naval experts and historical curators who share your passion for the field
  • Earn academic credits that can contribute towards full degree courses – including our MA Naval History course

Benefits of Distance Learning

  • Work from anywhere, at your own pace, in your own time – with interactive online learning materials hosted on our virtual learning environment, Moodle, and available 24/7 on any device – find out how distance learning works 
  • Access to over 600,000 ebooks, 55,000 online journals, digital newspapers and a postal loan service from our University Library – see all library support for distance learners
  • Invitations to online forums where you can discuss your studies with other students and your lecturers
  • Access to all student support services via email, phone, online chat or video call


This short course is delivered by supported distance learning. You’ll receive high-quality course materials, including written learning materials, live online seminars, an online interactive reading list and learning resources.

With our Moodle online learning environment, you'll have access to a tutor and fellow students wherever you are, and you’ll get plenty of support through your studies.

You'll need access to a computer and a web connection. You may be able to access some of the resources through a tablet or smartphone, with limited functionality. You don't need to be especially computer literate, although typing skills are useful.


Legasee Educational Trust

You’ll be able to delve into Legasee's collection of veteran videos interviews and personal accounts to hear about modern naval history from the people who made it.

View Legasee's video archive

How You're Assessed

You’ll be assessed through a single 1,250 word case study exercise at the end of your studies.

What's Included

  • Provision of a named module coordinator to access support and guidance when you need it
  • Online live seminars
  • One module of written materials with guided and interactive activities
  • Access to a wide range of e-books and e-journals available for free via the reading list and university library
  • Free dispatch of books and offprints of journal articles to UK distance learning students when they're not available online
  • A student card for the duration of the course

After successful completion of the course, you'll be entitled to a University Certificate. The credits gained from this course are a pathway to further university education and can contribute towards attaining a full degree.

Entry Requirements

Access to this course is open to all individuals subject to the approval of the course leader.


To apply for this course, please use our online application form.

You can also find out more about this course by contacting us below.