History at UEA? Watch

AxSirlotl
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I'm currently doing A Levels and I was wondering what the history course is like at UEA. I was looking at the modules and it seems that a lot of them have quite a large timespan: Imperial Russian and Soviet History 1861-1945. At A level in 2 years we do 2 time periods (Tudors and Soviet history 1917-53), so I don't know whether doing such a huge time period would seem as though one would be covering the period in insufficient depth, or whether the course is well suited to fitting in the time period into the course. I think there are 8 modules in the 2nd year, so I'd like to know if it feels as though it's a rush to cover those modules or not. Thanks.
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University of East Anglia
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Hi AxSirlotl! It's great to hear of your interest in studying History at UEA! I'm a BA History graduate from UEA (2015) so well-equipped to offer advice and share my experience of the course.

Making the step from A-Levels to university can be daunting - I was in a similar boat as you having only studied the War of the Roses and World War II in sufficient detail in my A Levels. The modules at UEA in the first year are organised to counter this issue and solve any potential lapses in knowledge with an introductory module in Medieval, Early Modern and Modern British History, two subject-specific modules (for 2018/19 entry, this is 'Age of Extremes: Europe 1918-2001' and 'Witchcraft, Magic and Belief in Early Modern Europe) and a module in 'History, Controversy and Debate', which challenges you to reflect on the nature of history and what it means to be a historian. Your first year at UEA does not count towards your final mark - so this is a brilliant opportunity to explore potential subjects of interest and time periods, so you are prepared to specialise in second year if you wish to.

In your second year, you will have six modules - for Option A & B study you pick two modules of 20 credits each, and in Option C & D study you pick one module of 20 credits each. Although the modules can span a large time-span, you do have the option to focus on a particular time period in both your assignments and in the examinations. For your assignments, you can select from a number of questions or themes, or even propose a relevant theme to your tutor for approval. In the examination, you are presented with several questions to chose from (this may change in your year of study, but in my studies we were provided with ten questions) and expected to answer only two of these. As such, you are not expected to answer a question spanning the whole time-span unless it specifically states as such - and you can simply avoid these ones and select another question if you wish!

In my experience, I found the course well-suited to specialising in a certain time period. I focused on gender and cultural politics in Modern British History and selected modules around this period and theme, such as 'Women, Power and Politics' and 'Twentieth-Century Britain, 1914 to the Present', as well as those that could be applicable or helped my experience - such as 'Heritage and Public History'. You also have the option to take a free study module in the School of Humanities - I chose an American Studies module on New York from 1950's and focused on the media around the Johnson-Hinton and Malcolm X incident in New York. With all my modules, if I felt I wanted to explore a theme in gender or cultural politics that was still relevant to that particular module as part of my assignment, the tutors were always really supportive in letting me do so. As such, I never felt there was a barrier in exploring my interests. A great example of this was in my third year studies of 'Victorian Underworlds'. The theme of The Contagious Diseases Act and Josephine Butler was never a part of the core syllabus, but my tutor was incredible helpful in allowing me to explore this as part of my essay assignment and providing advice and resources to aid my research.

I hope this helps! Can I ask out of interest, which period of history are you looking to study?

- Laura, UEA Official Rep
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AxSirlotl
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(Original post by University of East Anglia)
Hi AxSirlotl! It's great to hear of your interest in studying History at UEA! I'm a BA History graduate from UEA (2015) so well-equipped to offer advice and share my experience of the course.

Making the step from A-Levels to university can be daunting - I was in a similar boat as you having only studied the War of the Roses and World War II in sufficient detail in my A Levels. The modules at UEA in the first year are organised to counter this issue and solve any potential lapses in knowledge with an introductory module in Medieval, Early Modern and Modern British History, two subject-specific modules (for 2018/19 entry, this is 'Age of Extremes: Europe 1918-2001' and 'Witchcraft, Magic and Belief in Early Modern Europe) and a module in 'History, Controversy and Debate', which challenges you to reflect on the nature of history and what it means to be a historian. Your first year at UEA does not count towards your final mark - so this is a brilliant opportunity to explore potential subjects of interest and time periods, so you are prepared to specialise in second year if you wish to.

In your second year, you will have six modules - for Option A & B study you pick two modules of 20 credits each, and in Option C & D study you pick one module of 20 credits each. Although the modules can span a large time-span, you do have the option to focus on a particular time period in both your assignments and in the examinations. For your assignments, you can select from a number of questions or themes, or even propose a relevant theme to your tutor for approval. In the examination, you are presented with several questions to chose from (this may change in your year of study, but in my studies we were provided with ten questions) and expected to answer only two of these. As such, you are not expected to answer a question spanning the whole time-span unless it specifically states as such - and you can simply avoid these ones and select another question if you wish!

In my experience, I found the course well-suited to specialising in a certain time period. I focused on gender and cultural politics in Modern British History and selected modules around this period and theme, such as 'Women, Power and Politics' and 'Twentieth-Century Britain, 1914 to the Present', as well as those that could be applicable or helped my experience - such as 'Heritage and Public History'. You also have the option to take a free study module in the School of Humanities - I chose an American Studies module on New York from 1950's and focused on the media around the Johnson-Hinton and Malcolm X incident in New York. With all my modules, if I felt I wanted to explore a theme in gender or cultural politics that was still relevant to that particular module as part of my assignment, the tutors were always really supportive in letting me do so. As such, I never felt there was a barrier in exploring my interests. A great example of this was in my third year studies of 'Victorian Underworlds'. The theme of The Contagious Diseases Act and Josephine Butler was never a part of the core syllabus, but my tutor was incredible helpful in allowing me to explore this as part of my essay assignment and providing advice and resources to aid my research.

I hope this helps! Can I ask out of interest, which period of history are you looking to study?

- Laura, UEA Official Rep
Hi, thank you for your reply, it's been quite helpful . My favourite period of history is probably WW2 and my favourite kind of topic of history would be military history, but I also enjoy non-military history bits of history. Typically something about a time period will catch my attention (such as the 7 Years War or the assassination of Tsar Alexander II) and then I'll read more into it and become more interested, so I hope to kind of develop my interests at uni. I also enjoy modern Russian history and (as I mentioned I think) there is a module from 1861-1945 which I think I'd like. I also tend to prefer depth over breadth (I think depth gives a better understanding therefore a better essay), so my concern was that the modules would be more breadth focused with not as much focus in depth, but you seem to have cleared that up for me: if I'm not mistaken you don't have to do an assessment on the whole period (breadth) but you can focus on something more specialised (depth) which I prefer.
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SomeWelshGuy123
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(Original post by AxSirlotl)
Hi, thank you for your reply, it's been quite helpful . My favourite period of history is probably WW2 and my favourite kind of topic of history would be military history, but I also enjoy non-military history bits of history. Typically something about a time period will catch my attention (such as the 7 Years War or the assassination of Tsar Alexander II) and then I'll read more into it and become more interested, so I hope to kind of develop my interests at uni. I also enjoy modern Russian history and (as I mentioned I think) there is a module from 1861-1945 which I think I'd like. I also tend to prefer depth over breadth (I think depth gives a better understanding therefore a better essay), so my concern was that the modules would be more breadth focused with not as much focus in depth, but you seem to have cleared that up for me: if I'm not mistaken you don't have to do an assessment on the whole period (breadth) but you can focus on something more specialised (depth) which I prefer.
Remember he is basically a salesman, I don't do History but several of my modules are hosted by the school of History, in my opinion they are sub-par to many courses and provide little to no depth of the topic, for example covering a completely different decade every seminar.
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University of East Anglia
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(Original post by AxSirlotl)
Hi, thank you for your reply, it's been quite helpful . My favourite period of history is probably WW2 and my favourite kind of topic of history would be military history, but I also enjoy non-military history bits of history. Typically something about a time period will catch my attention (such as the 7 Years War or the assassination of Tsar Alexander II) and then I'll read more into it and become more interested, so I hope to kind of develop my interests at uni. I also enjoy modern Russian history and (as I mentioned I think) there is a module from 1861-1945 which I think I'd like. I also tend to prefer depth over breadth (I think depth gives a better understanding therefore a better essay), so my concern was that the modules would be more breadth focused with not as much focus in depth, but you seem to have cleared that up for me: if I'm not mistaken you don't have to do an assessment on the whole period (breadth) but you can focus on something more specialised (depth) which I prefer.
Glad I could help AxSirlotl! Absolutely - I focused in on more specialised topics (depth), as similarly to you, I preferred this over studying in breadth.

'The Imperial Russian and Soviet History 1861 - 1945' module certainly sounds ideal for you! I'd also recommend the 'Rise and Fall of British Power' and 'Napoleon to Stalin: The Struggle for Mastery in Europe' as they provide really good context for the military history and diplomatic situation across Europe and Russia at the time, and these modules really compliment each other with their differing perspectives. The two academics who lead the course (Prof. Geoff Hicks and Prof. Thomas Otte) are incredibly passionate about the subject as well! If exploring Modern Russian history is also of interest to you, you may also like the 'From Stalin to Putin: The Long Shadow of the War' module as well, which leads on from 'Napoleon to Stalin'.

- Laura, UEA Official Rep
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jelly1000
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(Original post by University of East Anglia)
Glad I could help AxSirlotl! Absolutely - I focused in on more specialised topics (depth), as similarly to you, I preferred this over studying in breadth.

'The Imperial Russian and Soviet History 1861 - 1945' module certainly sounds ideal for you! I'd also recommend the 'Rise and Fall of British Power' and 'Napoleon to Stalin: The Struggle for Mastery in Europe' as they provide really good context for the military history and diplomatic situation across Europe and Russia at the time, and these modules really compliment each other with their differing perspectives. The two academics who lead the course (Prof. Geoff Hicks and Prof. Thomas Otte) are incredibly passionate about the subject as well! If exploring Modern Russian history is also of interest to you, you may also like the 'From Stalin to Putin: The Long Shadow of the War' module as well, which leads on from 'Napoleon to Stalin'.

- Laura, UEA Official Rep
Pleased to hear Geoff Hicks is still at UEA, he was by far and away the best lecturer I had.
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MartBlart
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#7
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(Original post by AxSirlotl)
I'm currently doing A Levels and I was wondering what the history course is like at UEA. I was looking at the modules and it seems that a lot of them have quite a large timespan: Imperial Russian and Soviet History 1861-1945. At A level in 2 years we do 2 time periods (Tudors and Soviet history 1917-53), so I don't know whether doing such a huge time period would seem as though one would be covering the period in insufficient depth, or whether the course is well suited to fitting in the time period into the course. I think there are 8 modules in the 2nd year, so I'd like to know if it feels as though it's a rush to cover those modules or not. Thanks.
ah hell yeah i'm doing history, at the open day it was pretty dank, you get to choose your modules in the second year and go in depth with them. landscape history sounds sick.
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