Reviewing my third year modules
Warwick’s history course gives a lot of freedom of choice when it comes to modules, especially in final year. The options I was able to choose from spanned the whole world, and focused on time periods from the Middle Ages all the way up to contemporary history. Given that there’s so many options to choose from, I thought it would be helpful to give a bit of an insight into the ones that I know a bit about!
Of course, a module’s content and availability changes over time depending on student feedback and staffing, so it’s possible that they’ll change from what I’ve experienced, and might not even run in future. Even so, I think it’s good to look at their general themes and approaches as they’re all structured slightly differently from first and second year modules – for example, none of my final year modules have lectures, just reading and seminars!
Conquest, Conflict and Co-existence: Crusading and the Crusader Kingdoms
I studied a lot of medieval history at school, and even though I mostly prefer to study modern history now, I really enjoy having a bit of variety in terms of time period in my modules.
I’ve found this module really interesting, but quite challenging. We’ve studied each Crusade in depth, and looked at them thematically. At the start of the course, it felt like a bit of an information overload; there are so many names to keep track of, and it definitely felt a bit intimidating. However, I’ve learnt all of the content chronologically, so as the weeks went on it became much easier.
I liked that we looked at themes beyond war in the crusading world. For example, we’ve discussed religious coexistence, trade, and gender, in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, which I think has given a lot more depth to the topic.
Medicine, Empire and the Body, c. 1750-1914
In first year, I did a module on empires and really enjoyed it, so this course appealed to me a lot. I like that it has such a large timespan as it’s interesting to be able to see how colonial powers’ methods of controlling medicine and the body changed over time.
Everything centres around the theme of medicine and empire, but we’ve looked at it through a variety of themes, for example; medicinal plants, climate, public health, and perceptions of race. I find that the central theme of this module is slightly easier to keep track of than my other modules, which I think is due to the way the course is structured. However, it’s also the only module I had direct knowledge of before this year, so that probably helps too.
As part of the course this year, we went to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. It was the first field trip I’d been on at uni, and it was great to do something immersive as part of the course. I’m not sure if it runs every year, but it’s certainly been a highlight for me.
Science, Technology, and Global Politics, 1900 to Present
Of all the modules I’ve studied over my time at university, this one has to be my favourite. It’s a very broad course – it covers the entire twentieth century, the whole political spectrum, and most of the world.
This year, the course started by going through different political movements around the world and how leaders each used science and technology to enhance their political missions. Then we studied the history of different types of science (for example, nuclear, environmental, and feminist science).
I had done some early modern science before, but not modern science, and certainly not science and politics at the same time. It can sometimes be a bit of a challenge as it’s a whole new way of thinking about history for me, but I love it.
Hopefully that’s given you a sense of what final year history modules are like! I’ve tried to stay quite general as I know modules can change over time, but I hope you’ve found it useful!