MA History: Student experience
Robbie Rudge (MA with Distinction, 2011)
'Masters study at Nottingham has been a truly fascinating year. After three years of undergraduate study I was not ready to stop and the Masters has certainly helped to satisfy my thirst for history! I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to take modules which have deepened my historical knowledge in a variety of eras and themes. Within this I have been able to select modules covering medieval warfare, ‘English Identity’ throughout the ages and even childhood in the nineteenth century. The MA level seminar material is always great for debate, and the other students at this level are always keen for some great discussions. Tutors also get stuck in to the seminars viewing us as fellow academics, joining in with discussions and sharing their own insights from their research. At the same time however, they are still there to give invaluable advice and guidance on our own assessed pieces of work. The assessed work at MA level has really been a highlight because we often have the opportunity to concentrate in depth on topics that really interest us, and without exams, I feel we can really explore this topic in depth without leaving specific areas or ideas for exam answers.
The dissertation at MA is proving to be the highlight of my year. I get a great deal of satisfaction that the research that I am conducting at the moment is my own original work. No-one has studied this particular aspect of the aftermath of the civil wars before, and so the researching and writing experience has been fascinating, challenging, and immensely rewarding.
Masters study has also given me some very useful skills, ranging from chances to work on my teamwork skills in seminar presentations, to a vast amount of academic skills. Techniques such as working in archives, early-modern palaeography and the chance to build on historical analytical and organisational skills to a higher level will prove invaluable for my future continued studies at PhD level. Indeed, my Masters year has satisfied my thirst to study history further, but also inspired me to continue my dissertation research on into doctoral study. If people talk about getting “bitten by the research bug”, then I can certainly say that I have been thanks to my Masters year at Nottingham.'
Teresa Phipps (MA with Distinction, 2011)
'The MA year has by far been the most formative and influential of my 4 years studying history. The ability to select my own unique combination of modules enabled me to tailor the course to suit my own specific interests, effectively creating my own pathway by combining two different themes. As a medievalist, I particularly enjoyed the Latin and palaeography elements of the research skills module, enabling closer interaction with and de-codification of original source material.
The MA environment has introduced me to other students who share a similar passion for the subject matter, demonstrated through in-depth and often highly spirited academic discussion in seminars. As a result, I have felt real progression in my research and writing skills, aided by the ability to personally decide the direction of my studies through choosing my own subjects and questions for essays, allowing me to pick areas that really interested me. Though I only intended to study for one more year after the completion of my undergraduate degree, the MA has inspired me to continue on to PhD level and further refine the skills and research developed this year.'
Matt Phillips (MA with Distinction, 2009)
‘My MA in History at the University of Nottingham gave me the enthusiasm to pursue research at a doctoral level. I would not have received AHRC funding without the help of departmental staff, who are extremely accommodating to the needs of postgraduate students. The School of History provides an excellent and vibrant space for seminars and the exchange of ideas.’
Faye Taylor (MA with Distinction, 2008)
‘The double focus on transferable skills and subject knowledge meant I was constantly challenged, and noticed a significant improvement in my academic confidence by the end of the year. The MA allowed me to explore different chronological and theoretical areas within the discipline, guided by experts in the field. The course also gave me a chance to learn languages and to travel … It prepared me well for PhD study.’
Hannah Straw (MA with Merit, 2006)
‘The staff are very friendly and helpful and offer you as much guidance or space as you need to complete your studies and are keen to share their knowledge and expertise. The pathway system is great, offering you the chance to specialise in an area but whilst still gaining important awareness of other aspects of the wider period’.
For more information, please contact Dr Richard Goddard.