Second year History and Politics student - ask me anything!

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kikslewis
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#1
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#1
I'm starting my second year as a History and Politics student at Sheffield in September, and so I'm happy to answer any questions you have about anything and everything
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VickyIsabelle
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(Original post by kikslewis)
I'm starting my second year as a History and Politics student at Sheffield in September, and so I'm happy to answer any questions you have about anything and everything
Hey,what did you do at a level and what were your grades? What history and politics topics have you done so far at uni? - thanks

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kikslewis
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(Original post by VickyIsabelle)
Hey,what did you do at a level and what were your grades? What history and politics topics have you done so far at uni? - thanks

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For A level, I did History, Politics and Economics and got AAA (my offer from Sheffield was AAA).

I did two history modules last year, which were Paths from Antiquity to Modernity (basically a history of Europe from the fall of Rome to the fall of the Berlin Wall) and History Workshop (learning about using sources etc.)

I did four Politics modules as well, which were Introduction to Political Analysis (learning about different political concepts, such as freedom and equality etc.), British Politics (a history of British Politics from the end of WW2 to today), introduction to Security Studies (fairly self explanatory!) and Comparing Modern Polities (looking at the executives of the UK, the USA, France, Russia, Germany and Brazil)

Hope this helps
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VickyIsabelle
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(Original post by kikslewis)
For A level, I did History, Politics and Economics and got AAA (my offer from Sheffield was AAA).

I did two history modules last year, which were Paths from Antiquity to Modernity (basically a history of Europe from the fall of Rome to the fall of the Berlin Wall) and History Workshop (learning about using sources etc.)

I did four Politics modules as well, which were Introduction to Political Analysis (learning about different political concepts, such as freedom and equality etc.), British Politics (a history of British Politics from the end of WW2 to today), introduction to Security Studies (fairly self explanatory!) and Comparing Modern Polities (looking at the executives of the UK, the USA, France, Russia, Germany and Brazil)

Hope this helps
It does one more question (sorry) - which is more interesting on your course,history or politics?

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kikslewis
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(Original post by VickyIsabelle)
It does one more question (sorry) - which is more interesting on your course,history or politics?

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No worries, ask as many questions as you want!

I'd say history overall, but both subjects are really interesting - it's just there are more dull bits in politics than history!
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VickyIsabelle
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(Original post by kikslewis)
No worries, ask as many questions as you want!

I'd say history overall, but both subjects are really interesting - it's just there are more dull bits in politics than history!
Haha fair enough have you got any advice for a level history?

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kikslewis
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(Original post by VickyIsabelle)
Haha fair enough have you got any advice for a level history?

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The main advice I'd give would be learn how to research for yourself and find your own facts/quotes etc. - I didn't as much as I should have done for my A level coursework and regretted it at uni as you have to do so much for yourself (all of your essays involve getting your own information and your own evidence). I should have got more practice in!

Apart from that, I'd say do some reading outside of your courses just to find out more about what you enjoy learning about
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VickyIsabelle
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(Original post by kikslewis)
The main advice I'd give would be learn how to research for yourself and find your own facts/quotes etc. - I didn't as much as I should have done for my A level coursework and regretted it at uni as you have to do so much for yourself (all of your essays involve getting your own information and your own evidence). I should have got more practice in!

Apart from that, I'd say do some reading outside of your courses just to find out more about what you enjoy learning about
Okay,thank you your info has been very helpful

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kikslewis
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(Original post by VickyIsabelle)
Okay,thank you your info has been very helpful

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No worries
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grx_
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(Original post by kikslewis)
I'm starting my second year as a History and Politics student at Sheffield in September, and so I'm happy to answer any questions you have about anything and everything
Hello! I am applying to study Politics next September. I am doing the same A level subjects that you did.

What can you say about the politics department overall? I've heard it's really good like one of the best in the country, I just wanted to ask your personal opinion as a student there?

Also, what are the lectures and seminars like? I mean based on class sizes and what you actually do?

How did you find Sheffield as a city? I come from Birmingham which is pretty big and there's lots to do, I want to be in a place that has a lot to offer. I was also considering Leeds.

And lastly, have you got any advice for A2 Economics? It's the subject I find the most difficult among the three.

I'm sorry for bombarding you with all these questions, thank you in advance for answering!


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Stannisbaratheon
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Who would win in
a triple threat fight between Churchill stalin and hitler?
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kikslewis
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(Original post by grx_)
Hello! I am applying to study Politics next September. I am doing the same A level subjects that you did.

What can you say about the politics department overall? I've heard it's really good like one of the best in the country, I just wanted to ask your personal opinion as a student there?

Also, what are the lectures and seminars like? I mean based on class sizes and what you actually do?

How did you find Sheffield as a city? I come from Birmingham which is pretty big and there's lots to do, I want to be in a place that has a lot to offer. I was also considering Leeds.

And lastly, have you got any advice for A2 Economics? It's the subject I find the most difficult among the three.

I'm sorry for bombarding you with all these questions, thank you in advance for answering!


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The politics department on the whole is excellent - I was really impressed with the lectures and the content of the different modules, but I have to admit that there were some aspects I wasn't too impressed by. I applied to Sheffield because of the reputation that the politics department had, and so far it has lived up to that reputation, for me anyway.

In lectures, you basically just sit with every other student doing that module (those that aren't too hungover anyway!) and are broadly introduced to different topics and their key points by the lecturer. You then go away and do a lot of reading on that topic (usually from academic journals/essays) and discuss the topic and your reading in a seminar. Seminars are groups of about 10-15 people who simply spend about 50 mins talking about the topic, while having your tutor direct the discussion - you're not really taught anything, per se, but are encouraged to discuss what you think of that particular topic with other students.

Sheffield is a fantastic city. I come from London (so you can't quite get bigger than that in the UK!) and I absolutely love Sheffield. There's plenty to do during the day if you're bored, lots and lots of shops and the nightlife is really really good (one of the reasons I applied to Sheffield to be honest...). If being in a city with lots to do is one of the main factors you're thinking about when applying to uni (as it was for me), then don't worry, Sheffield fits that criteria!

Economics was the subject I found the most difficult as well, so you're not alone, don't worry! My advice would be get a really good revision guide (if you haven't got one already) and just read up on the different topics you do in the evening after you've done them at school. I didn't do that at AS, but did do it at A2, and it really, really helped. I tended not to understand in class, so just going over it again more simply helped a great deal.

Sorry for the really long message, but I hope this helped! If you've got anymore questions, just fire away and good luck with your A levels and uni application!
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kikslewis
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(Original post by Stannisbaratheon)
Who would win in
a triple threat fight between Churchill stalin and hitler?
I would have to say Stalin I reckon. Churchill is a bit big and so doesn't have the agility needed to win and Hitler is too cocky and sure of himself, so would let his guard down too easily. Stalin though knows what it takes to win and is tactically astute as well (plus you never mess with a man who has a moustache like he does), so I'd put my money on him
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swallowsky
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What kind of reading/extra-curricular things did you do/have to do to put on your personal statement?
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kikslewis
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(Original post by swallowsky)
What kind of reading/extra-curricular things did you do/have to do to put on your personal statement?
At school, they kept telling us that we need lots of reading and extra stuff to do with our subjects (like going to lectures etc.) to put on our personal statements, but I found that to not really be necessary. I put down a couple of books I'd read recently and said I'd been to one or two lectures, because the bulk of my personal statement was on how doing my A levels had helped me develop as a student.

In terms of extra-curricular stuff, that was just a short paragraph at the end of my personal statement where I said I played a lot of hockey and did some acting at school along with some other minor things.

My main advice would be do some extra reading and extra-curricular stuff, but don't really be worried if you haven't got that much, it's not actually that​ important

Hope this helps
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ceco_moev
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Hello,

I will be applying for History and Politics in 2016 hopefully and I've got 2 questions:

1)How did you make a connection between Politics and History in your PS? Or did you simple write separately firstly about (e.g) History, and then for Politics? I hope that you have understood me.

2)I thought that you predominantly study Political Theory rather than modules in university. For example, you study Marxism, or Fascism. So, do you study mainly modules about certain countries, or comparing them or something similiar? Or you can also study Political Theory, which I find the most intriguing now?

THANKS in advance!
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kikslewis
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(Original post by ceco_moev)
Hello,

I will be applying for History and Politics in 2016 hopefully and I've got 2 questions:

1)How did you make a connection between Politics and History in your PS? Or did you simple write separately firstly about (e.g) History, and then for Politics? I hope that you have understood me.

2)I thought that you predominantly study Political Theory rather than modules in university. For example, you study Marxism, or Fascism. So, do you study mainly modules about certain countries, or comparing them or something similiar? Or you can also study Political Theory, which I find the most intriguing now?

THANKS in advance!
On my personal statement, I remember doing separate paragraphs for each subject (as admissions tutors from both departments look at the personal statement) but I did connect them. A lot of history is shaped by political decisions, and most of politics is shaped by history, so I kind of weaved that into my personal statement I think.

You do predominantly study Political Theory, but inside of each module. For example, I did a module in my first year called Introduction to Security Studies, within which you learn about the difference political theories and ideas about Security. On the whole, you can choose your modules, and so you can pick modules which mostly focus on political theory. Even in the module where I learnt about different executives around the world, there was a lot of political theory.

So don't worry, you'll be doing a lot of political theory! If you want to have a look at what modules you can do, the current list on offer is here https://www.shef.ac.uk/politics/prospectiveug/modules. Hope this helps
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ceco_moev
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(Original post by kikslewis)
On my personal statement, I remember doing separate paragraphs for each subject (as admissions tutors from both departments look at the personal statement) but I did connect them. A lot of history is shaped by political decisions, and most of politics is shaped by history, so I kind of weaved that into my personal statement I think.

You do predominantly study Political Theory, but inside of each module. For example, I did a module in my first year called Introduction to Security Studies, within which you learn about the difference political theories and ideas about Security. On the whole, you can choose your modules, and so you can pick modules which mostly focus on political theory. Even in the module where I learnt about different executives around the world, there was a lot of political theory.

So don't worry, you'll be doing a lot of political theory! If you want to have a look at what modules you can do, the current list on offer is here https://www.shef.ac.uk/politics/prospectiveug/modules. Hope this helps
It was enormously helpful! Thanks for your quick and detailed replay! I did not really consider Sheffield before but after seeing the modules I might conceivably add it into my choices! Again, you were extremely helpful!

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grx_
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(Original post by kikslewis)
The politics department on the whole is excellent - I was really impressed with the lectures and the content of the different modules, but I have to admit that there were some aspects I wasn't too impressed by. I applied to Sheffield because of the reputation that the politics department had, and so far it has lived up to that reputation, for me anyway.

In lectures, you basically just sit with every other student doing that module (those that aren't too hungover anyway!) and are broadly introduced to different topics and their key points by the lecturer. You then go away and do a lot of reading on that topic (usually from academic journals/essays) and discuss the topic and your reading in a seminar. Seminars are groups of about 10-15 people who simply spend about 50 mins talking about the topic, while having your tutor direct the discussion - you're not really taught anything, per se, but are encouraged to discuss what you think of that particular topic with other students.

Sheffield is a fantastic city. I come from London (so you can't quite get bigger than that in the UK!) and I absolutely love Sheffield. There's plenty to do during the day if you're bored, lots and lots of shops and the nightlife is really really good (one of the reasons I applied to Sheffield to be honest...). If being in a city with lots to do is one of the main factors you're thinking about when applying to uni (as it was for me), then don't worry, Sheffield fits that criteria!

Economics was the subject I found the most difficult as well, so you're not alone, don't worry! My advice would be get a really good revision guide (if you haven't got one already) and just read up on the different topics you do in the evening after you've done them at school. I didn't do that at AS, but did do it at A2, and it really, really helped. I tended not to understand in class, so just going over it again more simply helped a great deal.

Sorry for the really long message, but I hope this helped! If you've got anymore questions, just fire away and good luck with your A levels and uni application!
Thank you for answering my questions even though I had loads!

You mentioned there were certain aspects you didn't like, what aspects were these?

Thanks for outlining the lectures and seminars, it sounds good so far also the seminar is quite a small group and I like that. How did you find the workload though?

Sheffield is looking really good so far, the student union looks amazing as well!

I had loads of books for AS but my teacher wasn't the best so I relied a lot on what I got online. Thanks for the advice though and I'll make sure to do that!

Thank you once again and goodluck with the rest of uni!


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kikslewis
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(Original post by grx_)
Thank you for answering my questions even though I had loads!

You mentioned there were certain aspects you didn't like, what aspects were these?

Thanks for outlining the lectures and seminars, it sounds good so far also the seminar is quite a small group and I like that. How did you find the workload though?

Sheffield is looking really good so far, the student union looks amazing as well!

I had loads of books for AS but my teacher wasn't the best so I relied a lot on what I got online. Thanks for the advice though and I'll make sure to do that!

Thank you once again and goodluck with the rest of uni!


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They were mainly little things that popped up here and there, but the main one was the marking on one of the essays - it was, for me and others, really disappointing (i.e. unfair criticisms, incorrect criticisms/corrections and harsh language). Like I said though, barring these little things (there are always bound to be bits you don't like!) it is a fantastic department.

Having small groups for seminars is really good, mainly as it means you're a lot more likely to be heard. The workload is definitely manageable, depending on how much time you commit to it. There are core readings for each seminar, which have to be done, and optional readings to increase your knowledge - I would say the core readings (including noting) for each seminar took me between 3-5 hours, and I had three seminars a week, so it really isn't that bad. I would recommend trying to get some optional reading done as well though, as it really helps with your essays and exams. It did mean I had at least one day off a week though to recover from hangovers!

The students union is absolutely fantastic - best in the country for 4 or five years running I think? And Sheffield just won the Times Number 1 uni for student experience, so you know it's good!

Yeah, I had that problem with my teachers as well...

My pleasure thankyou, and good luck with your A2s and uni applications!
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