The Student Room Group

Is it a History master's worth it?

I'm in my final year of History at University of Bristol. I studied History for undergraduate only because I really enjoy the subject, I wasn't thinking much about graduate prospects when I picked the subject.

Now almost at the end of my course I find myself really stumped on what to do next. I'm currently planning on doing a Master's in history because I enjoy the subject and I don't know what I'm doing next but I have some vague belief that having a master's will give me an advantage in whatever comes next.

Is this a good reason to do a master's? I'm not from a rich background so having to fund my master's is a big financial risk for me and I'm going to have to live frugally next year, but I'm not really sure what else to do...
Original post by Mish2000
I'm in my final year of History at University of Bristol. I studied History for undergraduate only because I really enjoy the subject, I wasn't thinking much about graduate prospects when I picked the subject.

Now almost at the end of my course I find myself really stumped on what to do next. I'm currently planning on doing a Master's in history because I enjoy the subject and I don't know what I'm doing next but I have some vague belief that having a master's will give me an advantage in whatever comes next.

Is this a good reason to do a master's? I'm not from a rich background so having to fund my master's is a big financial risk for me and I'm going to have to live frugally next year, but I'm not really sure what else to do...

Depends what you want to do. If it's academia/research then a masters is probably worth it. If it's just for your own enjoyment then it's also probably worth it.

If it is strictly general graduate prospects then no, probably not worth it.
Original post by Blue_Cow
Depends what you want to do. If it's academia/research then a masters is probably worth it. If it's just for your own enjoyment then it's also probably worth it.

If it is strictly general graduate prospects then no, probably not worth it.

I'd love to go into academia or research for History since I do enjoy the subject, but seeing the state of universities now plus all the recent strikes etc... It's been making me wonder if becoming an academic is worth it, especially for a non-STEM subject which is typically not as valued.
Original post by Mish2000
I'd love to go into academia or research for History since I do enjoy the subject, but seeing the state of universities now plus all the recent strikes etc... It's been making me wonder if becoming an academic is worth it, especially for a non-STEM subject which is typically not as valued.

Yeah. Conditions for academic staff is certainly something to consider.
Original post by Mish2000
I'm in my final year of History at University of Bristol. I studied History for undergraduate only because I really enjoy the subject, I wasn't thinking much about graduate prospects when I picked the subject.

Now almost at the end of my course I find myself really stumped on what to do next. I'm currently planning on doing a Master's in history because I enjoy the subject and I don't know what I'm doing next but I have some vague belief that having a master's will give me an advantage in whatever comes next.

Is this a good reason to do a master's? I'm not from a rich background so having to fund my master's is a big financial risk for me and I'm going to have to live frugally next year, but I'm not really sure what else to do...

Hi @Mish2000

I was in the exact same position as you! I completed my undergraduate in History, which I chose because I loved the subject, and at the end of my degree was uncertain what to do next, plus there was limited job availability as I completed my degree during lockdowns. The first thing I would recommend is chatting to your careers team if they are available, as they will be able to talk you through your options at a much more personal level.

However, if you would like to do an MA for a bit more thinking time and because you love the subject I would absolutely recommend it. Doing my MA is, personally, better than doing my undergrad and it was the best decision I made. Saying that though an MA wouldn't be necessary for graduate-level employment, your undergrad degree would do for that.
If you are eligible you can also apply for a postgraduate loan, this isn't means tested like your undergraduate maintenance loan and you just receive a sum of money. For my academic year it was £11,550 which I pay my tuition fees, rent and other expenses from. The amount may change between academic years so I would recommend looking on the Student Finance website for this/next year's amount, but that is an option finance-wise if you are worried about that aspect of an MA.

Academia is unfortunately an uncertain prospect at the moment, if you are hesitant about that as a career path maybe you could consider other history/research based careers such as heritage and archive work, production researcher for TV and films, data analyst? These may interest you, they may not, I would recommend looking at what you enjoy and are good at and seeing what careers/jobs line up with your skills as a good place to start.

I hope this helps, good luck!

Grace :smile:
BA History
MA Nineteenth Century Studies (History and English Literature)
I'm just finishing up on my BA History, not sure what to do next....I'm thinking LLM Human rights @ UEL, iv checked the requirements and BA history is suitable. Also, I was wondering if data science would be useful...some uni's let BA students do MSc's, not sure if its a good idea tho....
(edited 2 years ago)

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