University of London
Applied Public History: Places, People, Stories
University of London

Applied Public History: Places, People, Stories

Taught in English

5,642 already enrolled


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Catherine Clarke

Instructor: Catherine Clarke


(85 reviews)

Beginner level
No prior experience required
26 hours to complete
3 weeks at 8 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

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There are 6 modules in this course

In this first week, we’ll meet the course presenters, and explore place and history with help from Historic England, Layers of London and others. How do we get a sense of the history and heritage of a place, and how can we involve our communities in understanding the historic environment? We’ll look at the professional practice of describing historic places and buildings, as well as what maps can reveal about place and history – with special access to historic maps in the Institute of Historical Research archive, and reflections on 'deep mapping' in the crowdsourced Layers of London project. There's also a chance for you to introduce yourself: the first step in forming our virtual community and sharing our varied experiences and expertise.

What's included

5 videos2 readings3 quizzes2 discussion prompts

This week, we'll explore some fantastic case-study projects, to discover fascinating stories from history, and approaches to recovering and sharing the past. With the help of Youth Club Archive, we'll reflect on different approaches to collecting and telling stories, with varied audiences in mind. Through the Victoria County History 'Red Boxes' project, we'll look at how stories can be told through objects. And we'll look at how a project gathering the oral histories of Syrian refugees brings together different participants and communities.

What's included

3 videos2 readings2 quizzes1 peer review1 discussion prompt

Where does applied public history meet creative practice? This week, we'll learn from a range of projects to explore what art, and artistic collaborations, can bring to interpretation of the past, to examine historical re-enactment and costumed interpretation, and to look at how a creative approach to mapping might draw a place and its history in imaginative, thought-provoking and engaging ways. There's also an opportunity to try your own creative skills by joining in a creative masterclass! Whether you're naturally an artistic type or not, this week is an opportunity to consider creative approaches for your own applied public history work and projects, and to reflect on what these methods facilitate.

What's included

3 videos2 readings3 quizzes2 discussion prompts

Anniversaries, statues, blue plaques and monuments - history is all around us in the present, in our places and in our public debates. This week, we'll examine how history is commemorated today, with attention to lines of exclusion and absences. We'll look at strategies for mobilising history to make positive interventions in present-day society, with perspectives from the #RememberHer project on female memorials in London, the Haringey Peace Forum (working on World War 1 conscientious objectors), and History Workshop Online, with their activist approach to 'history of the present'.

What's included

3 videos2 readings3 quizzes2 discussion prompts

How do you transform an 'audience' into active researchers? What can engaged, participatory research and co-production add to our understanding of the past and its significance in the present? This week we'll talk to Layers of London, the Victoria County History in Leicestershire, and the Runnymede Trust's 'Our Migration Story' project team, to explore new approaches to uncovering history, from community archive work to crowdsourcing.

What's included

2 videos3 readings3 quizzes2 discussion prompts

Applied Public History is all about communication. This week, we'll return to the core thread of communication which has run across the course, consolidating our skills with attention to some new case studies, and returning to others. We'll also step back and think about evaluation and how to identify opportunities for future development - including a chance for you to reflect on your own participation in this course. We'll hear from projects including 'Being Human' - a National Festival of the Humanities, Layers of London, #RememberHer, and more.

What's included

2 videos3 readings2 quizzes1 peer review2 discussion prompts


Instructor ratings
4.9 (48 ratings)
Catherine Clarke
University of London
1 Course5,642 learners

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