Studying history at Sheffield also gives you the opportunity to get involved in a range of exciting extra-curricular activities, helping you to engage with history in new ways and get even more out of your student experience. These activities can also help you to enhance your CV by gaining valuable transferable skills and experience in areas such as interviewing, film-making, and working with school children.
Some of these projects run each year so you can get involved at each level of your degree and others, like the SURE projects and Witness, are great one-off opportunities, examples include:
SURE (Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience)
SURE offers students funded research scholarships of up to £1080 to work together with an academic and/or collaboratively in a research group on a dedicated 'real life' research project. The projects usually take place in the first six weeks of summer before your final year of study.
In summer 2017, we have two academics running projects where a group of students from across the University will come together to explore a research topic. Dr Julie Gottlieb is working with four students who are looking at The Effects of National Crises on Mental Health, exploring the emotional and behavioural responses to well characterised, historic social stressors. Dr Casey Strine is working with six students on Representing Migration, which will explore how images of migrants and refugees shape public understanding and opinions of migration.
Some of our students are also working on individual projects: one is with Dr Dina Gusejnova on The 1970s in the cultural memory of British Iranians and one with Dr Daniel Lee exploring the history of the Sheffield Jewish Journal.
Past history SURE projects include:
Policing New York Project
In 2015 one of our projects saw Meg Roberts work with Dr Andrew Heath to explore the relationship between race and policing in the post-civil war New York.
"Through SURE, I've been able to spend 6 weeks researching the New York police force and race relations in post-Civil War America. I initially intended simply to shed light on modern controversies concerning race and US policing, but the freedom and fantastic guidance provided by my supervisor and the SURE scheme has allowed me to discover so many different avenues of research. While exploring intricate webs of political corruption, shameless defences of police brutality and the murky activities of New York’s criminal underworld, I’ve learnt invaluable lessons about independent research, historical materials and the importance of pursuing what interests you!" Meg Roberts, BA History
Faith and Fear in Philadelphia Project
In 2014 one of our projects saw Dr Andrew Heath work with several undergraduate students and Payroll Union, a Sheffield-based band.
"I was lucky enough to be a successful applicant for an internship position on the 'Fear and Faith in Philadelphia' project which took place in the History department this year. It was a collaboration between a band, The Payroll Union, a filmmaker, Cathy Soreny, and an historian, Andrew Heath. It has been a great opportunity to explore the possibilities for creativity within the study of history. I have learnt a lot about the film-making process as in intern whose principal role was shadowing documentary film-maker Cathy Soreny, but I have also really broadened my understanding of what history can be if we allow ourselves to think about the topic more expansively." Nyasha Mangera, BA History
Hands on History
Hands on History is a two-week long widening participation scheme that is now in its third year. The scheme is run with Museums Sheffield who teach student ambassadors about a range of historical objects before taking them out into local schools to work with year 7 and 8 pupils. The aim of the project is to encourage the pupils to engage with History and think about university-level study more generally.
"Hands on History is a great opportunity to do something a little different with skills acquired on the course. We took objects from Sheffield's Western Park Museum into schools to run sessions with school pupils - I have enjoyed working with children and feel it has opened up more opportunities for my future. I will be helping present an exhibition on Soviet History for 6th Form history students in October for example." Hamish Rogers, BA History
The Witness Project
Each year a group of second-year History undergraduate students come together to collect and preserve Sheffield's past and heritage through the medium of oral history. Creating an oral archive that can be used for years to come - that's the role of Witness, the department's well-established volunteer oral history programme.
Students receive training in oral history techniques and ethics, before going into the wider community and collecting interviews on a theme that changes from year to year.
In 2017 the project focused on Jewish Sheffield completing almost 20 interviews, which are now available in the Witness interview archive.
New Histories has been taking a break this academic year but will be relaunched from September 2017!
New Histories is a student-led online history magazine, which aims to make written history more accessible to a wider audience through short informal articles.
Themes have included War and Peace; Local Histories; and Revolt and Rebellion. There is also an open edition each year, where interested writers can submit a proposal on any topic.
"As soon as I heard about New Histories, I volunteered myself as an editor straight away. It is a fantastic experience and has allowed me to not only gain some fantastic skills, but also to learn about different topics in history whilst I'm editing peoples articles! I definitely plan on writing an article for them over this year." Joss Woodend, BA History and Politics
HSTSOC is one of the University’s largest and most active societies, providing its members with social and educational opportunities, as well as support and guidance. As well as providing opportunities to get to know fellow history students though socials, trips and their own sports teams, the History Society can also be a great way of enhancing your CV through activities such as their charity, volunteering and education work or by becoming part of the society committee.
"I have recently joined the History Society committee as Vice President and Inclusions Officer. It is a great way to get involved in History, both as a social experience, and to gain a new set of important skills." Tom Hailwood, BA History