History Major, Graduated 2011
If the thought of studying history at university level appears daunting, coming to Lancaster will soon dispel such fears! A first year overview course is both intellectually stimulating yet reassuringly accessible. Then there is a wide range of courses on offer in second and third years, from the medieval to the modern, incorporating elements of political, social, economic and cultural history. Lectures provide good topic overviews while seminars allow for more in-depth discussions, some of which can get quite heated! The tutors are friendly and also enthusiastic about their work, and about helping students to develop as historians, something from which I have really benefited.
As a nervous fresher, the thought of handing in a dissertation at the end of third year can seem scary, but the whole course is structured so as to equip you with the skills you need and for me, the dissertation was one of the highlights of the whole degree. I chose to study the spatial governance of Avenham Park, Preston during the nineteenth century. I conducted my research at Lancashire Record Office, reading huge, hand-written tomes of council documents. It really brought the study of history to life and the sense of achievement at completing the dissertation is something that words cannot adequately describe.
All history majors take a special subject in their final year which is taught in smaller classes and allows students to get to grips with a narrower area in finer detail. I chose the history of advertising and consumerism from 1850 to 1950 which was a fascinating course in economic history, involving a diverse range of primary source analysis and a variety of written and oral assessments.
On campus there is a plethora of societies to join, from sports to music and everything else in between. Each college boasts its own bar and the Lancaster Concert Series attracts acclaimed classical musicians, and students can buy discounted tickets.
My time in the history department has been one which I will always remember. It is a lively academic environment, yet it has a friendly intimacy which allows students to thrive.