Why I Chose History (at Warwick)
“The community and support, especially this year, have greatly helped and really made me feel valued and at home.”
As a follow on from my previous post about why I chose to study at the University of Warwick, I wanted to elaborate on why I chose to study history here. I’ll talk a bit about why I chose history in general, as well as what the history course at Warwick has to offer. I’ll also be drawing on what I knew before attending university, and what I’ve learned since. I hope that this can help!
In short, it’s what I was good at at school, and my passion and enjoyment for the subject survived a-levels (much more than can be said for English and biology). I still love it after three years at university!
It has left me with some career anxiety, due to it not being a vocational subject, but this is a double-edged sword. There are so many options available to history graduates because of the array of skills we acquire! A few of my favourites are critical thinking and analysis, communication (written and spoken), independence and time-management, empathy and humility.
Why at Warwick?
The main two things that attracted me to history at Warwick was the range of modules available and the variety of assessment methods. Since being at Warwick, I’ve studied: American history, the history of medicine, the mapping of Britain’s Atlantic empire, the Silk Road, gender and war in the US, Mexican history, Anglo-German relations, crime and punishment, and the role of print in the British empire. So, if it’s range you’re looking for, Warwick’s the place for you! I’ll link the website for the history modules at the end of this post.
In terms of assessment, I know I’m not the only one who hates exams. I don’t deal well with the uncertainty or time pressure, so being able to limit the number of exams I’ve had at university has been great! I’ve only had three exams in my time here, and the coursework I’ve done has been far from standard, from your bog-standard essay, to blog posts, to study guides, and the odd presentation. There’s a lot of freedom in what you can write about too!
The range of modules and creativity of the assessments have certainly lived up to expectations, but I wanted to share a couple of things that make Warwick so great that I found out once I got here. First up is the passion of the members of staff teaching the modules. Many optional modules are based on lecturers’ own research and interests, making the content incredibly engaging. A good example would be the Mexico module I took in my second year: I didn’t necessarily click with it intellectually, but the lecturer’s genuine passion made it really fascinating and enjoyable! Another pretty cool aspect is that sometimes lecturers will use discussion points in seminars to inform their current research so you can really get involved in history beyond university confines.
Beyond individual module convenors, the history department as a whole is great! The community and support, especially this year, have greatly helped and really made me feel valued and at home.
I hope that this post has been of some use to anyone trying to decide on a subject and/or university. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or anything that needs clarifying; I’d be more than happy to help!
Until next time
Module website: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/students/modules/