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History Personal Statement

I first became interested in History when I visited Karachi as a child to celebrate Pakistan’s Independence Day. It was riveting to be among such elation and I wondered what life had been like before the partition. My Great-Grandmother was my primary source and as she recounted her stories I became enthralled, begging her to tell me more. It was at that young age I obtained a thirst for the knowledge and understanding of the past and it has stayed with me ever since. Recently, I volunteered at a tuition centre in Karachi for three weeks, where I taught English and History. I was able to develop strong interpersonal skills as I adapted to each students preferred teaching style, while being both professional and empathetic towards them. I found my organisational skills improved as I reflected on each lesson and made adjustments as well as setting time aside to mark work and give feedback. This experience was enjoyable for me and opened my eyes to the world of work available to me through educational avenues.

To study for a History degree will not only allow me to expand my knowledge and deepen my engagement with the past but also equip me with valuable skills for the future. These include the ability to critically analyse and evaluate material in a succinct manner as well as giving me the confidence to explore ideas independently thus raising my own questions and offering new interpretations. These skills have begun to develop significantly in the past few years but I believe there is room for improvement and the path to a history degree will provide me with the means to improve such skills. I am particularly well-versed in the art of debating, and during a debate conference at Cumberland Lodge, I was commended by student barristers from the Inner Temple. They were impressed by my ability to not falter from my line of argument and use of quick thinking to defend my points against the opposing team.

The other subjects I had chosen to study at A-Level greatly complement my History A-Level in their own unique way. English Literature allows me to compare intellectual, religious, and artistic influences which gives me an insight into the beliefs and attitudes of people as time progresses. This for example allows me to fully understand why the English Renaissance was able to flourish. In addition to this, through my study of Sociology, I have been provided with a method of socioeconomic analysis and an explanation for the behaviour of individuals which has furthered my understanding of the actions of individuals I have studied at A-Level, such as Elizabeth I. After studying Race Relations in America, I found myself drawn to the history of apartheid in South Africa and after attending a lecture by Dr Y, I was captivated by his discussion on Umkhonto We Sizwe and the willingness to use violence which was similar to my studies of the Black Panther Party.

My favourite pastime is reading, particularly novels from the Romantic era, such as Mansfield Park, which has developed my taste for other forms of fiction such as the work of Lauren Kate. I have since become an avid theatre goer for I enjoy seeing the novels I love be brought to life. It is interesting to see different interpretations of the written forms and the creativity of director’s never ceases to amaze me. My other penchant for lectures led me to Dr X who inspired me to conduct my own personal study into the significance of the Great Leap Forward. During my research I came across Jung Chang who offered a negative portrayal of Mao, however my recent study of Historiography has taught me to be critical of Historians which is why I now plan to read ‘Was Mao really a monster?’, to deepen my understanding of Mao Zedong. This investigation is what makes History so appealing to me as I am provided with a plethora of different views spanning centuries and as new evidence comes to light I am given the chance to form my own arguments.

Universities Applied to:

  • SOAS (History) - Offer (AAB) Firm
  • Queen Mary (History) - Offer (ABB)
  • Royal Holloway (History) - Offer (ABB) Insurance
  • Reading (History) - Offer (ABB)
  • Westminster (History) - Offer (BBC)

Grades Achieved:

  • Sociology (A2) - B
  • English Literature (A2) - C
  • History (A2) - C


Went to SOAS! This Personal Statement was perhaps one of the reasons why after missing entry requirements i was still allowed in.

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