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    So I live in Northern Ireland and go to the top grammar school there, which is a science specialist college that puts a lot of particular emphasis on studying a science degree in university.

    Problem is, I've wanted to study history since I was in first year, and so as help goes from my school, there is very little; they focus on the vocational degrees.

    I've done my own research and all, but I would like to hear other people's views on studying history. My family, which really is my granny, is against me studying history, as they believe I won't have a "real job" when I finish my degree, but I want to go post-grad and get a PhD in Irish or Tudor history.

    I'm definitely applying for York, for their History course and their Historical Archaeology course. I'm considered applying for a History/Politics joint degree also somewhere.

    I have the grades; I've 13 GCSEs (5A*, 6A, a B and a C - the B is in Maths, which I completed in 1 year, and the C is in Additional Maths, which I completed in 1 year; it's near the equivalent of AS Maths what you have to do!) and I'm waiting for my AS results (I do History, English Lit, RE, and Politics, but I'm seriously considering dropping RE and picking up another AS). I'm predicted 4 As, but I know that overall in History and Politics it will shock me if I don't get A* in both.

    So any advice and tips on where is the best place to study history degrees, personal statements and career prospects would be appreciated. I plan to have my application sent away early, as I was considering Oxford, but now I'm not sure.
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    (Original post by CescaD96)
    So I live in Northern Ireland and go to the top grammar school there, which is a science specialist college that puts a lot of particular emphasis on studying a science degree in university.

    Problem is, I've wanted to study history since I was in first year, and so as help goes from my school, there is very little; they focus on the vocational degrees.

    I've done my own research and all, but I would like to hear other people's views on studying history. My family, which really is my granny, is against me studying history, as they believe I won't have a "real job" when I finish my degree, but I want to go post-grad and get a PhD in Irish or Tudor history.

    I'm definitely applying for York, for their History course and their Historical Archaeology course. I'm considered applying for a History/Politics joint degree also somewhere.

    I have the grades; I've 13 GCSEs (5A*, 6A, a B and a C - the B is in Maths, which I completed in 1 year, and the C is in Additional Maths, which I completed in 1 year; it's near the equivalent of AS Maths what you have to do!) and I'm waiting for my AS results (I do History, English Lit, RE, and Politics, but I'm seriously considering dropping RE and picking up another AS). I'm predicted 4 As, but I know that overall in History and Politics it will shock me if I don't get A* in both.

    So any advice and tips on where is the best place to study history degrees, personal statements and career prospects would be appreciated. I plan to have my application sent away early, as I was considering Oxford, but now I'm not sure.
    From what I've found, History at Undergrad and even Postgrad level is much more than simply knowing dates and knowing what happened in the past. It's about analysing it and getting a full understanding as to why and how it happened. Using this you then make conclusions on the impact it's had on the present and potentially the future. Therefore, when you tailor your application you need to make sure you fully understand what the degree entails. I recommend having a look at the Departmental websites of the Universities you will be applying to and see what they look for in their applicants. Accordingly, you should try and find a common ground in terms of criteria and make sure you answer these in your personal statement. As someone who's worked in admissions and has helped recruit for my current job, applicants who do this tend to be the ones who get places.

    Regarding career prospects, I've seen a lot of people enter top graduate positions from degrees as diverse as Medicine, Physics, English, Classics and History. Many companies will give you in-house training upon entering their scheme so your degree isn't necessarily relevant to the job you're applying for. I don't want you to think that you'll be at a disadvantage if you've studied History over, say, someone who's done Management.

    I hope that helps but please ask more if you have questions .
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    Very useful TSR guide to applying for History : http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/History_Degree

    Good book for anyone thinking of doing a History degree : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Studying-His.../dp/1403987343
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    (Original post by returnmigrant)
    Very useful TSR guide to applying for History : http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/History_Degree

    Good book for anyone thinking of doing a History degree : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Studying-His.../dp/1403987343
    I just got that book yesterday in the post, but thank you!

    (Original post by WokSz)
    From what I've found, History at Undergrad and even Postgrad level is much more than simply knowing dates and knowing what happened in the past. It's about analysing it and getting a full understanding as to why and how it happened. Using this you then make conclusions on the impact it's had on the present and potentially the future. Therefore, when you tailor your application you need to make sure you fully understand what the degree entails. I recommend having a look at the Departmental websites of the Universities you will be applying to and see what they look for in their applicants. Accordingly, you should try and find a common ground in terms of criteria and make sure you answer these in your personal statement. As someone who's worked in admissions and has helped recruit for my current job, applicants who do this tend to be the ones who get places.

    Regarding career prospects, I've seen a lot of people enter top graduate positions from degrees as diverse as Medicine, Physics, English, Classics and History. Many companies will give you in-house training upon entering their scheme so your degree isn't necessarily relevant to the job you're applying for. I don't want you to think that you'll be at a disadvantage if you've studied History over, say, someone who's done Management.

    I hope that helps but please ask more if you have questions .
    Thank you so much for your advice and I'll definitely be asking questions in the future
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    Hey, I've actually just finished my first year studying History at undergraduate level at York so was thinking I could offer you some advice in getting in there specifically -- although with your grades you can probably think about lots of other unis too!

    As far as York goes for History, it does have a reputation for having a great History Department and I think is in the Top Ten for the subject and I can confer that I've enjoyed it a lot. There are so many choices about what to study; you said you would like to study Tudor history which is an optional module for 2nd year. I think one of the best things about first year has been that I've felt like I've been introduced to so many different perspectives of history -- I wrote an essay for one of my exams about historical conspiracy theories and their political contexts, and at one point in the year we also looked at the historical attitudes towards suicide in terms of secular/religious divides in seminar discussions. This is the kind of stuff you won't get at A Level, and you get just enough in first year to give you a taste of that sort of history. Exams at York for History are almost all open, 24-hour essay writing which you can do however you want, which is an interesting way to be examined but strangely enjoyable if you like a challenge (or maybe that's just me).

    It's been quite a while since I wrote my personal statement so I'm a bit hazy on it but as far as I can remember I just thought about all the experience I had and linked it to History/academics. So instead of just writing 'I have played the trumpet since the age of eight' I wrote about how much commitment and determination it took to keep at it. I also had some work experience so I wrote a little about that. But mostly just show enthusiasm for the subject, about how you think about it and why you think it's relevant to you and to the world.

    Careers-wise, clearly you're already aware of the general consensus amongst non-History students that History is a useless degree but in fact it's a particularly flexible degree. We had a Careers Conference here at York a couple of weeks ago with a panel of ex-students in all sorts of different fields. I'm sure whichever uni you choose they will encourage you when it comes to thinking big with a History degree, simply because there is no reason not to.

    Sorry for the huge wall of text, sometimes I get a little carried away talking about my degree! But feel free to ask more questions if you have them, especially if you are really considering York for History
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    (Original post by flandalf)
    Hey, I've actually just finished my first year studying History at undergraduate level at York so was thinking I could offer you some advice in getting in there specifically -- although with your grades you can probably think about lots of other unis too!

    As far as York goes for History, it does have a reputation for having a great History Department and I think is in the Top Ten for the subject and I can confer that I've enjoyed it a lot. There are so many choices about what to study; you said you would like to study Tudor history which is an optional module for 2nd year. I think one of the best things about first year has been that I've felt like I've been introduced to so many different perspectives of history -- I wrote an essay for one of my exams about historical conspiracy theories and their political contexts, and at one point in the year we also looked at the historical attitudes towards suicide in terms of secular/religious divides in seminar discussions. This is the kind of stuff you won't get at A Level, and you get just enough in first year to give you a taste of that sort of history. Exams at York for History are almost all open, 24-hour essay writing which you can do however you want, which is an interesting way to be examined but strangely enjoyable if you like a challenge (or maybe that's just me).

    It's been quite a while since I wrote my personal statement so I'm a bit hazy on it but as far as I can remember I just thought about all the experience I had and linked it to History/academics. So instead of just writing 'I have played the trumpet since the age of eight' I wrote about how much commitment and determination it took to keep at it. I also had some work experience so I wrote a little about that. But mostly just show enthusiasm for the subject, about how you think about it and why you think it's relevant to you and to the world.

    Careers-wise, clearly you're already aware of the general consensus amongst non-History students that History is a useless degree but in fact it's a particularly flexible degree. We had a Careers Conference here at York a couple of weeks ago with a panel of ex-students in all sorts of different fields. I'm sure whichever uni you choose they will encourage you when it comes to thinking big with a History degree, simply because there is no reason not to.

    Sorry for the huge wall of text, sometimes I get a little carried away talking about my degree! But feel free to ask more questions if you have them, especially if you are really considering York for History
    Oh my, that was so helpful, thank you! And don't worry about getting carried away! For your work experience, did you do something history related? (Oh, that's one of the reasons why I'm wanting to go to York, for the way they exam you. I like it.)
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    (Original post by CescaD96)
    Oh my, that was so helpful, thank you! And don't worry about getting carried away! For your work experience, did you do something history related? (Oh, that's one of the reasons why I'm wanting to go to York, for the way they exam you. I like it.)
    My work experience was mostly working as an admin assistant in the NHS so I wrote about handling sensitive information and being heavily organised. I took a gap year and did some heritage volunteering/work experience but that was well after I wrote my personal statement so was not a factor in me getting my place. I think really they care more about how passionate you seem in the personal statement and then obviously the reference from your form tutor or whoever does it at your school.

    And yeah, I really liked the open exams. There's only one closed exam in first year and none in second (as far as I know) and by the time you get around to doing the open essays exams you've done a dozen procedural and assessed essays (where you have 2+ weeks to complete) so it's just about making your process more efficient. I think it definitely suits the degree more than loads of closed exams.
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    (Original post by CescaD96)
    So I live in Northern Ireland and go to the top grammar school there, which is a science specialist college that puts a lot of particular emphasis on studying a science degree in university.

    Problem is, I've wanted to study history since I was in first year, and so as help goes from my school, there is very little; they focus on the vocational degrees.

    I've done my own research and all, but I would like to hear other people's views on studying history. My family, which really is my granny, is against me studying history, as they believe I won't have a "real job" when I finish my degree, but I want to go post-grad and get a PhD in Irish or Tudor history.

    I'm definitely applying for York, for their History course and their Historical Archaeology course. I'm considered applying for a History/Politics joint degree also somewhere.

    I have the grades; I've 13 GCSEs (5A*, 6A, a B and a C - the B is in Maths, which I completed in 1 year, and the C is in Additional Maths, which I completed in 1 year; it's near the equivalent of AS Maths what you have to do!) and I'm waiting for my AS results (I do History, English Lit, RE, and Politics, but I'm seriously considering dropping RE and picking up another AS). I'm predicted 4 As, but I know that overall in History and Politics it will shock me if I don't get A* in both.

    So any advice and tips on where is the best place to study history degrees, personal statements and career prospects would be appreciated. I plan to have my application sent away early, as I was considering Oxford, but now I'm not sure.
    I might be a tad biased, having studied International Relations, parts of which are basically modern History and also some History modules, but I don't think there is anything wrong with a History degree. A lot of grad jobs don't care what degree the person did - you can go into the civil service, teaching, marketing, management, HR, the charity sector (or other sectors I can't think of) or do a Phd as you said and become a university lecturer (although it doesn't seem the most stable job atm). Whatever you choose to do you need work experience alongside the degree but its the same with any arts degree).

    Unless they have changed things recently A*'s are only awarded at A2, not AS. As far as work experience goes as History isn't a vocational degree historical work experience isn't needed, just a nice bonus. As flandalf has put it brilliantly its as much about skills you gain from work experience than where you did it. Obviously if you can get a week in a local museum then that would be an added bonus but don't do it just for the application, do it because you'd be interested as well.
 
 
 
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