Mark Roberts

History Major, Graduated 2011

The transition from school to university is difficult for most people, but I must say that the History Department staff - lecturers, postgrads and departmental administrators - were all really helpful. I loved my course, especially the second and third years.

My dissertation - Manchester and wartime evacuation - was supervised by Dr John Welshman, who recently wrote a book for Oxford University Press on the subject. I became so engrossed in my dissertation that it became more of a pleasurable hobby than a piece of work for a degree. Dr Welshman went to enormous trouble to keep me focused and on track. If you find a fascinating topic like I did, it is hard to keep to the word limit!

Also in the third year, I did two courses with Dr Thomas Rohkramer on Germany in the twentieth century, and the Third Reich through film. The film course was fascinating, being taught through lectures, film-shows and workshops. I also took Dr Rohkramer’s Special Subject - ‘The Fatal Attraction of National Socialism’. We read sources and gave presentations and analysed the material during weekly seminars. Again, it was really enjoyable and I learnt so many new skills.

Another good thing about the Lancaster History course is that your degree classification is based on your performance in coursework and in the second and third year exams. Therefore, the pressure is spread and you never feel that your future depends on one particular piece of work. It is not like school when there is terrible pressure to get top A-level grades and it seems you are pitted against other candidates. At university, you are working with other people, rather than competing with them; and at Lancaster, everyone is encouraged to participate and contribute.

Do go to a Lancaster ‘open day’. You will not be disappointed. If you are lucky enough to do History at Lancaster, you will be taught by some of the very best historians at a top 10 university and you will enjoy yourself. I wish that I could do it all again!