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On this unique course, you will explore the growing importance of oral histories, recorded accounts by former mariners, in the interpretation and representation of the past.

You'll gain enhanced skills in the evaluation and critical analysis of interviews relevant to maritime, naval, and coastal histories – from veterans in conflict, to ordinary life ashore in port communities. Working with our partner, Legasee Educational Trust, the course will demonstrate the unique value of oral histories in educational, media, heritage, and research settings.

You'll study the theories that underpin the value of those recordings in academic and popular histories, how best to utilise them, along with their use in educational and museum settings. Through a challenging and stimulating study environment, you'll gain access to case studies that delve into fascinating episodes of local and global history.

The credits earned on this course are academically recognised and can contribute towards full degree courses.

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


  • £605

What you'll experience

On this short course you'll:

  • Learn how to critically analyse oral history recordings with experts in the field.
  • Reflect upon key historiographical and methodological issues with oral histories and demonstrate core skills in effectively placing them in relation to other forms of source material.
  • Review how oral histories are of value in educational and heritage settings and reflect upon best practice.
  • Demonstrate advanced skills in the interpretation of an oral history account.
  • Discover how oral histories can be of benefit to both popular and academic historians.

How you're assessed

To pass the course and obtain your certificate you will need to complete a single 1,250 case study exercise at the end of your studies.

What's included

Included in your course fee:

  • 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.



This course is delivered through distance learning, with written learning materials, live online seminars, an online interactive reading list, learning resources and web-based communication and peer learning available to you.

The University of Portsmouth uses the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment, so you'll be able to have access to a tutor and other students wherever you are.

Entry requirements

Access to this course is open to all individuals subject to the approval of the course leader. The course is delivered in English, so applicants are expected to be proficient in English to IELTS band 6.0.
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