(HIST052) Intermediate British Folklore: Working practically with the subject

mysterious lights under a tree at night


Course start date: Monday 23rd September 2024
Course end date: Friday 29th November 2024
Early Bird Price: £135 BOOK NOW

Tutor: Mark Norman
Course Code: HIST052
Level: Non-accredited, non-credit bearing
Assessments/Exams: None. Throughout the course you will be given ideas and questions to respond to in the online discussion area. Participation in online discussion is encouraged, but not compulsory. There will be an opportunity to undertake optional writing and research tasks as an extension for each module. If you choose to do this you will not receive a mark or grade, but you will receive feedback from the tutor on your work.
Duration: 10 weeks
Estimated Student Study Time: 2 – 5 hours per week are recommended, but time spent is flexible and at your discretion.
Price: £150.00
Pre-Requisite Course(s): None
Delivery: Online Distance Learning
Late Entrants: If this course is not full by the start date then late entrants will be accepted for up to two weeks after the start of the course. As a late entrant you can choose to catch up on the material you have missed or you can skip the missed weeks and concentrate on the material at the point where you join the course, but unfortunately we cannot offer fee reductions or course extensions for late entrants.
Recommended Reading**:

There is no set reading matter for this course, but many materials will be provided in both audio, video and written forms.

Required Reading**: None

**Please note: All courses are subject to sufficient numbers of students registering before they are confirmed as running. Therefore, after booking your place you are advised not to purchase any texts until you have received confirmation that the course is running.


This course is a natural progression from ‘Introduction to British Folklore (HIST051)‘ although it is not necessary to have taken the first course to be able to work through this one, as all of the materials will be self-contained. Intermediate British Folklore looks in more detail at some aspects of folklore study and explores ways in which folklore may be collected, preserved for the future, and worked with. The aim is to promote a love of working with the subject, and to set people on a path to explore and collect folklore for themselves, whether part of a programme of study or just in day-to-day life with an awareness of how folklore pervades everything that we do.

This course will be offered with practical association with The Folklore Library and Archive  and there will be opportunities for students to get involved with projects and activities if they wish to do so.

Syllabus Plan

Introduction: A brief look at the role of folklore in everyday life, the aims of the course, and what might be learned and undertaken in the ten weeks of study.

Week 01: Terminology and Concepts
Explores some of the common terms and ideas (and misconceptions) in folklore in the 21st century.

Week 02: Collecting and Preserving Folklore
Methods for collecting. How material is kept and looked after. Introduces practical suggestions for the rest of the course.

Week 03: Folklore in the Landscape part 1
Study materials for examples of ways that folklore interacts with the world around us.

Week 04: Folklore in the Landscape part 2
Audio and video materials and practical suggestions for collection.

Week 05: Folk Arts part 1
A look at traditional arts and crafts and what makes them worthy of folklore study.

Week 06: Folk Arts part 2
Audio and video materials and practical work based on Week 5 study.

Week 07: Traditional Folklore Case Study – Fairies part 1
An in-depth look at the role of fairies within folklore.

Week 08: Fairies part 2
Audio and video materials on fairies, plus ideas for research in your area.

Week 09: Modern Folklore
Some examples of why folklore isn’t just about old stuff. Ideas for how to collect modern examples.

Week 10: Folklore Collection and Future Ideas
Some practical ideas for ways in which students can put skills learned into practice. Next steps in the field.

Learning Outcomes

  • to provide a refresher and/or consolidate a basic knowledge of the concept of folklore and its terminology
  • to provide an understanding of the ways that folklore may be collected and how it is stored and made available
  • to provide the basic skills and practical knowledge required to undertake folklore and social history collecting and recording
  • to provide an understanding of the ways in which folklore pervades everything around us
  • to explain why folklore is as important in the modern world as it was for our ancestors
  • to provide guidance and help on how to continue to act as a folklorist and/or field recorder