Our free online course or ‘MOOC’ (delivered on the Coursera platform) introduces learners to applied public history: understanding and interpreting the past today, and engaging diverse communities in the practice of making and sharing histories.

What kinds of stories can we discover through research into the history of places and people? How do we engage diverse communities with those stories today? What kinds of imaginative approaches can we use to interpret the past? And what tools and opportunities can we create to include new groups and individuals in local research initiatives? This course investigates these questions and helps learners develop transferable approaches to their own community history and heritage interpretation. Learners develop a toolkit to apply in their own practice, by participating in discussion, quizzes, creative activities and mini masterclasses.

The course draws on project case studies, expert insights and diverse perspectives from many of the CHPPC’s friends and collaborators, as well as Centre projects including Layers of London and the Victoria County History of England.

Who is it for?

This online course is for anyone interested in exploring new approaches to engaging and involving communities with their research and developing new skills. Our online learning community brings together academics, heritage professionals, community groups, creative practitioners, and all those interested in places and their stories.

The course is designed as a tool for continuing professional development, whether you’re an early-career researcher or heritage professional, developing a new project or grant application, or looking for training in engagement and research co-production. Many of our learners also take the course because of their own personal interests in history.

The course is free and you can start any time.

Feedback from learners

  • A very engaging course for anyone interested in public history. Helps in thinking creatively and about considering who is missing from your audience”
  • “Some great insights into a wide range of public history projects. Lots to reflect on”
  • “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the journey of discovery which has been beautifully curated”
  • “Thank you #CHPPCPublicHistory for the creativity boost! I really enjoyed discovering all the public history projects discussed in this course”
  • “Very enjoyable course and inspires the use of social media and the internet to not only engage with the public, but to turn them into co-creators through crowdsourcing”
  • “Applied history teaches us to see the small in the big, for example, the history of my family, the history of buildings, the history of photographs”
  • “Very professional and stimulating, with lots of good example projects to learn from”