This new online programme offers the opportunity for those interested in regional and local history to gain an award from a top UK university that is renowned for its expertise in this field and has significant experience in delivering high quality distance programmes.
Regional and local studies offer a well-defined way to approach important historical themes and techniques. Whether you are interested in rural areas or urban centres, counties or kingdoms, uplands or lowlands, this programme will equip you with the skills, knowledge and confidence that you need to conduct primary research of your own in this vibrant and varied field.
You will build up your knowledge and skills through two taught modules, one rooted in medieval history and one at the dawn of the modern era. These modules will enhance your understanding of a broad sweep of history, develop your critical awareness in dealing with historical scholarship, and improve your ability to interpret various types of historical sources. You will then have the chance to put these skills into practice, with the guidance of a tutor, in an independent research project.
The programme will appeal to anyone who is enthusiastic about History, particularly those who wish to deepen their awareness of the importance of local experience in shaping our understandings of national and international trends.
Programme focus and modules
The programme consists of three modules which are focused on the history of the North of England, ranging from the Viking Age to the Victorian industrial era. However, the skills and contextual knowledge that you should develop through this course are applicable to regional and local studies more widely. The final module is a substantial independent research project with individual support and supervision from your tutor. You can find out more about these modules in the programme structure section. While there are no optional modules for this programme, the independent research project provides the opportunity to pursue your particular interests and carry out your own research, with support from our expert tutors.
How will I study?
You will access a range of fascinating learning materials online and will be able to study at a time and place to suit you. A wide variety of primary sources will be introduced and discussed, for example:
- medieval texts, including chronicles, legal material and manorial records;
- later written records such as: parish registers; census tables; tithe records; enclosure awards; agricultural statistics; farm surveys; agricultural reports and commissions;
- other kinds of sources and evidence such as oral testimonies, place-names and medieval buildings including castles, abbeys and pele towers.
You will be able to discuss the different elements of the programme with other students via text-based discussion through the online learning platform. The online learning platform hosts the learning guidance for each week, links to online reading lists, and a wide range of other resources such as videos. You will be in frequent online contact with your course tutors and other students, and you will receive one-to-one supervision for your independent project.
The flexibility of this programme and the learning format is ideal for people who want to pursue their historical interests around family or work commitments, and is suitable for learners accessing the programme from different parts of the world.
We provide guidance on accessing the materials and using the platform, and technical support is available for anyone who is new to this way of learning.
There may also be the option to take part in seminars at the Lancaster University campus, which are organised around the Regional Heritage Centre’s Study Days. These days are useful and informative, but they are not a core part of the course and you will not be disadvantaged if you are unable to participate. There is a small additional fee for attending study days.
Regional Heritage Centre
The programme is based in Lancaster University’s Regional Heritage Centre, which is part of the History Department. The Regional Heritage Centre promotes and celebrates the rich social and cultural heritage of North West England by engaging with the regional community through a range of events and projects.
2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in History or a relevant subject
We will also consider applications where you have studied a degree in a different subject, and in some cases where you have not studied at university level.
We know that many of our applicants have had a long break from study of any sort but they have developed their interests through activities such as personal research, membership of a local history society and volunteering at a local museum or other Heritage organisation. We encourage our applicants to use their Personal Statement to demonstrate that they have a genuine enthusiasm for regional and/or local history, and to show that they have the interest and ability to undertake this programme of study.
We would encourage those who are interested to contact us for information.
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
Independent Research Project in Regional and Local History
This is the final module in the Postgraduate Certificate in Regional and Local History. It is the culmination of the Certificate, in that it provides you with an opportunity to undertake an individually supervised research project.
In consultation with a tutor, you will choose a specialist field of enquiry in which to define and formulate a research topic and identify relevant primary sources. You will then spend around four months researching your topic and writing up a project report of approximately 5000 words.
The project will offer you the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge, understanding, research skills and techniques of presentation developed during the scheme’s taught modules.
Regional and Local Economies and Societies, 1780-1914
This module begins at the start of the modern age, a pivotal time of social and economic change. It introduces a range of primary sources appropriate to the study of regional and local history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with a focus on broad social and economic issues.
You will encounter a range of written records such as: parish registers; census tables; tithe records; enclosure acts and awards; agricultural statistics, surveys, reports and enquiries; trade directories; newspapers and government enquiries into issues such as factories, child labour, co-operatives and markets etc; we will also consider the role of other kinds of sources such as oral testimonies. You will develop your ability to learn and discuss in the online environment, and you will deepen your understanding of the role of regional and local studies in historical research.
The module is assessed through a reflective report and an essay selected from a range of topics.
The North: The Making of a Region, 1000-1500
The title encapsulates the module’s focus on the emergence of one region, within its national and international contexts.
During the module you will have the chance to trace the emergence of northern England as a region, from the last days of the Northumbrian kingdom to the formation of the Anglo-Scottish border. You will explore ecclesiastical history, including the twelfth-century monastic revival, as well as social, economic and cultural themes.
You will develop an understanding of a varied range of medieval texts, including chronicles, legal material and ecclesiastical records. You will also become acquainted with other kinds of evidence, such as place-names and the medieval buildings characteristic of the region, including castles, abbeys and pele towers.
The module is assessed through a reflective report and an essay selected from a range of topics.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.
Fees and Funding
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2024/25 entry fees have not yet been set.
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small College Membership Fee which supports the running of college events and activities.
For students starting in 2023, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2024 have not yet been set.
Computer equipment and internet access
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
Application fees and tuition fee deposits
For most taught postgraduate applications there is a non-refundable application fee of £40. We cannot consider applications until this fee has been paid, as advised on our online secure payment system. There is no application fee for postgraduate research applications.
For some of our courses you will need to pay a deposit to accept your offer and secure your place. We will let you know in your offer letter if a deposit is required and you will be given a deadline date when this is due to be paid.
Fees in subsequent years
If you are studying on a programme of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. Read more about fees in subsequent years.
Scholarships and Bursaries
Details of our scholarships and bursaries for 2024-entry study are not yet available, but you can use our opportunities for 2023-entry applicants as guidance.
Check our current list of scholarships and bursaries.
The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
Our Students’ Charter
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.