Royal Historical Society Undergraduate Dissertation Prize

Information about the prizes awarded to Undergraduate students annually.

There are prizes at pre-honours and honours levels, as well as prizes for overall performance by graduating students.

The School is also invited to nominate undergraduate dissertations for several UK prizes.

A summary of the School's undergraduate prizes is available below:

(Unless otherwise stated these prizes and bursaries are awarded annually, but may not be awarded if the conditions are not met.)

Archaeology

Prize nameDescription
R N Wardrop Prize in ArchaeologyA prize, to the value of £150 to be used for the purchase of books, is awarded annually by the Board of Examiners in Archaeology to the student achieving the best overall performance in Archaeology 1.

Classics

Prize nameDescription
Butcher Memorial Prize in GreekA prize, to the value of £150, is awarded annually to the best student in Greek 1. The prize may also be divided between a number of students.
C S Edgar Prize
  • A prize, to the value of £300, is awarded annually by the Head of Subject Area on the basis of class exercises in the Greek Intermediate Honours Class
  • A prize, to the value of £300, is awarded annually by the Head of Subject Area on the basis of class exercises in the Greek Honours Class
Hardie Prizes

A number of prizes, to the total value of £400, are awarded annually to students in the Honours Latin class for:

  • Latin prose composition and
  • Latin verse composition

If no candidate of sufficient merit competes for the Latin verse composition prize, prizes may be awarded for excellence in an English essay on a prescribed classical subject.

Margaret Stobie Keith PrizeA prize, to the value of £1400, is awarded annually to a candidate or candidates for the degree of MA with Honours or MA (General Honours) whose final degree examination includes papers in Latin or Greek and who in that examination produces work of distinction in the field of Ancient History, Ancient Philosophy or Ancient Religion.
Imke Schutte Memorial PrizeA prize, to the value of £50, is awarded annually for distinguished course essay work in Ancient History 2. Where there are candidates of equal merit, preference will be given to students taking both Ancient History 2 and Classical Art 2. Should there be no candidates of sufficient quality, the prize may be awarded for distinguished course essay work in Classical Art 2 alone.
Scott and Dunbar PrizeA prize, to the value of £1000, is awarded annually to ‘the most deserving and learned student’ in the Greek classes.
Harrison BursariesThis bursary is awarded annually to different subject areas on a rotational basis and is therefore not available to Classics students every year. When it is available to Classics students, one bursary, to the value of around £350 over two years, is awarded to a student entering their third year for the MA degree on the basis of class work in Classics.
Horsliehill-Scott BursariesThis bursary is awarded annually to different subject areas on a rotational basis and is therefore not available to Classics students every year. When it is available to Classics students, bursaries, to the value of around £500 each over two years, are awarded to two students each year entering their third year for the MA degree on the basis of class work in Classics.

History

Prize nameDescription
Annabella Kirkpatrick Prize Scholarship in HistoryA scholarship awarded annually to ‘the most distinguished graduate of the year in MA Honours History’.
James Elliott PrizeA prize awarded annually for the most distinguished overall performance by a fourth-year student who has taken at least 120 credits worth of courses in Scottish History in their honours’ years. The subject area reserves the right not to make an award if none of the eligible candidates attain a first-class degree classification. This prize is open to all students enrolled on history programmes in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology.
Compton Prize for American HistoryA prize awarded annually for the best performance by a final year undergraduate in American History.
Dobson Morpeth Senior PrizeA prize awarded annually to the student who produces the most distinguished dissertation on a Scottish historical topic in their final year. This prize is open to all students enrolled on history programmes in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology.
The Rev A E L Paterson PrizeA prize awarded annually to the best finalist in Medieval History.
Paterson (Noel) Essay PrizeA prize awarded annually for the best essay in Modern British History (1780 to the present) by an undergraduate doing a Senior Honours History course in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology.
Margaret Balfour Keith Memorial Prizes
  • A prize awarded annually to the most distinguished student in the class of British History Junior Honours
  • A prize awarded annually to the most distinguished student in the year 2 class of American History
  • A prize awarded annually to the most distinguished student in the year 2 class of Asia and Africa
Charles Stuart Pennell PrizesTwo prizes awarded annually on the basis of class exercises and examinations to the most distinguished student in each of the following classes: (a) European History 1 (b) Introduction to Medieval Europe 2.
Dobson Morpeth Junior PrizeA prize normally awarded annually for the most distinguished overall performance by a student enrolled on both second-year Scottish History courses (Modern Scottish History and Scottish History since 1914). However the prize can be awarded, at the discretion of the appropriate course exam boards, for an exceptional performance by a student enrolled on only one of these courses.
J Williamson Memorial PrizeA prize normally awarded annually for the most distinguished overall performance by a student enrolled on both first-year Scottish History courses (Medieval Scottish History and Early Modern Scottish History).  However the prize can be awarded, at the discretion of the appropriate course exam boards, for an exceptional performance by a student enrolled on only one of these courses.
Lanfine BursaryA two-year bursary awarded annually on the basis of class work or the degree examinations to the 'most distinguished student in Introduction to Medieval Europe 2'. The bursary is usually awarded to a current 2nd year undergraduate and is renewable for one year. Recipient must have two undergraduate years still to study at the University. (Bursaries also awarded in English, French, German, Italian & Spanish, Economics).

Nominations for UK History undergraduate dissertation prizes

Prize nameDescription
Royal Historical Society/History ScotlandA prize of £250 is awarded and, at the discretion of the Editor of History Scotland, the work will be published in a future issue of the magazine. The History Honours Board of Examiners may nominate one undergraduate dissertation for this prize.
History of Parliament TrustA prize of £500 will be awarded to the best UK undergraduate dissertation on a subject relating to British or Irish parliamentary or political history. The History Honours Board of Examiners may nominate one undergraduate dissertation for this prize.
British Commission for Maritime HistoryA small number of £75 prizes are awarded each year for undergraduate dissertations in the broad field of maritime history. The History Honours Board of Examiners may nominate one undergraduate dissertation for these prizes.
Society for the Study of French HistoryA first prize £300 and two supplementary prizes of £100 each are awarded for undergraduate dissertations concerning any aspect of French history, or any aspect of contemporary French Studies with a substantial historical dimension. The History Honours Board of Examiners may nominate one undergraduate dissertation for these prizes.

The RHS History Today prize rewards high-quality work by undergraduates in their final-year dissertations. It is jointly sponsored by the RHS and History Today, and is part of our close association with a magazine which since 1951 has been a pioneer in communicating the results of historical scholarship to the general public. The successful candidate will be awarded a prize of £250 and, at the discretion of the Editor of History Today, an edited article-length version of their dissertation will be published in a future issue of the magazine.

The 2016 prize was awarded to Emma Marshall (University of Durham) for her dissertation ‘Women’s Domestic Medical Practice, Recipe Writing and Knowledge Networks in Seventeenth-Century England‘. The judges – Professor Ole Grell of the Open University; Professor Trish Skinner of Swansea University; and Paul Lay, Editor of History Today – thought the dissertation was ‘an outstanding, rigorously researched piece of scholarship, which also managed to be a hugely enjoyable read.’

I am honoured and delighted to accept this award for my undergraduate dissertation from such respected institutions as the Royal Historical Society and History Today magazine. Recipe books, a relatively under-explored historical source, are a fascinating window into seventeenth-century domestic medicine. They provide a truly compelling insight into early modern diseases and remedies, but also reveal people’s fears, beliefs and confidences in their own abilities and in the workings of the natural and supernatural worlds. The recording, making and administering of medicines involved immense organisation, expertise and hard work, and I hope that my dissertation reflects my admiration for the compilers of these books. Such material offers endless possibilities for future research, which I look forward to reading. I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor Dr Cathy McClive, whose generous advice, suggestions and recommendations were invaluable from the start. Although challenging, I thoroughly enjoyed writing this dissertation, and the experience prepared me well for my current Masters thesis in Early Modern History.

Emma Marshall

How to Enter

  • The potential level of entries to the prize is large and to reduce numbers to manageable proportions we limit entries to one for every UK Higher Education institution.
  • Departments are invited to nominate the candidate judged by the examiners to have presented the best dissertation.
  • History departments should complete this Entry Form. They will be asked to upload a copy of the dissertation.

Deadline for entries:  31 August 2018

Past RHS History Today prize winners

All enquiries about the Prize should be addressed to the Administrative Secretary, Melanie Ransom, at: m.ransom@royalhistsoc.org

Submit entry

 

0 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *