It’s hard to believe that I am in my final year studying History when I compare myself to how I was two years ago I realise some of the effects that my course has had on me!
You don’t have many contact hours studying History, but instead, have a large amount of independent study to do. I’ve really enjoyed this independence – it is one of my favourite parts of studying History. It has meant, however, that I’ve had to learn how to be organised and self-disciplined – skills which are obviously crucial in any workplace.
Essays are a big part of studying History, and I feel my writing skills have come on a great deal while studying this course. I’ve had to learn how to construct arguments, and write clearly and concisely. I am considering a career in journalism, so the skills I’ve picked up studying History will be very important there. The research skills I’ve had to learn will be essential too.
Studying History at Durham isn’t easy and you can’t always manage everything yourself. The History Department has very clear lines of support and guidance, whether that is in terms of seeking help with an essay, having questions about the course, or if the workload is feeling too overwhelming.
I’ve studied a really wide range of different time periods in my time at Durham, and it has definitely broadened my horizons in terms of learning about and understanding histories and cultures different to my own. This has been one of my favourite parts of the course, along with the way in which it has allowed me to pursue my own interests. The final year dissertation allows you to investigate in great depth your own historical interests. In my case I am writing about the way in which ideas of national identity were revealed through cricket matches between England and Australia in the 1930s!
The pandemic has obviously made studying for my degree harder, but I have found online learning really helpful and my lecturers have clearly put loads of effort into delivering it. I’m also lucky enough to have a little face to face teaching, which has been great, especially during lockdown! It has been a very strange and difficult year but my course has really offered me a good focus, not least thanks to the support that has been offered by my lecturers. I really enjoy studying History and the pandemic hasn’t changed that!
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