Why did you choose to study at Sheffield?
I chose to study at Sheffield because the course had a flexibility that really stood out to me, allowing you to take modules in many different disciplines in the first year if you so desired. The open day was also a wonderful introduction to Sheffield - it really showed me the great qualities of the city which make it such a unique and friendly place to study.
What are you particularly enjoying about your degree?
I have really enjoyed studying a special subject over two semesters in my third year, as it gave me the opportunity to really get into the topic in great depth. I also thought completing a dissertation was immensely rewarding, although also challenging. In terms of the teaching approach, I particularly like seminars, as I think there is no better way to learn that through sharing ideas and discussion. Seminars can be a great way of challenging your own thoughts and engaging with other students in intellectually stimulating debate.
What have you been studying this year?
This year I have studied Reconstructing America 1863-1877 as my special subject, which has been truly fascinating. I knew very little about the period beforehand, but studying it has really made me understand its historical significance and relevance to contemporary society. My special subject was taught by Andrew Heath who is a wonderful tutor, so he really brought the subject to life for me and my fellow students.
What have you done outside of your main studies?
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.
What skills have you learnt that you’ll be able to take away from your degree?
I leave my degree with a far more nuanced understanding of discipline of History. I have also really fine tuned my skills for critical and analytical thinking, as well as developed confidence in my ability to complete a lengthy piece of historical research. These are just some of the many skills I have acquired as a result of my History degree.
Do you have any plans for after graduation?
I am editing a documentary which I received funding for earlier this year. The documentary is based on the topic of my third year History dissertation.
What do you like about living in Sheffield?
It is a friendly, welcoming place. There are lots of great things going on in Sheffield if you want to explore. Everything is within walking distance, and the countryside is just a bus-ride away.
Anything else you want to say?
Studying History at Sheffield has been fantastic, and in many ways it has surpassed my expectations. The transition from A-Level to University is a major leap, and students are often not aware of how much their study of History will change at degree level. I feel I have really immersed myself in the discipline, and am finishing my degree with a renewed sense of the purpose and importance of studying History. I am also finishing my degree with a sadness at leaving the lovely city of Sheffield, as I have grown so fond of it in my time here. For any potential History undergraduates, in terms of the overall student experience, I could not recommend Sheffield University more.