Department of History

Dr Bethany Marsh

Dr Bethany Marsh completed her PhD in 2019. She discusses how the skills she gained has helped in her career as a teacher.

"My research centred on the impact and experiences of victims of violence and conflict in Britain and Ireland during the early modern period, with a specific focus on the refugees who were displaced by the 1641 Irish rebellion and subsequent Confederate Wars (1641-1653).

Following to completion of my PhD, I worked as a researcher at the National Civil War Centre in Newark and then subsequently became the Roy Foster Irish Government Senior Scholar in the History and Culture of Ireland at Hertford College, University of Oxford.

Bethany Marsh taking a selfie outside and smiling
The training in academic skills I received during my PhD has been essential to my success in my current role as an Assistant Head of Sixth Form. 

My role focuses on preparing higher achievers in the school for academic success. My PhD uniquely equipped me for this role as, first and foremost, I have been able to encourage students to develop the skills they need to be successful at university.

I have introduced a seminar style of teaching in the sixth form, reminiscent of that used at university, to help students focus on developing their own unique perspectives and learn to convey these in a group setting. My higher achievers’ sessions cover a range of skills including source analysis and critical thinking; students are given sources on topics typically outside of their own subject specialties and asked to analyse them in depth.

I also encourage students to develop their research and presentation skills by requiring them to deliver academic presentations which are assessed. As a teaching practitioner, I also regularly use the critical analysis skills developed during my PhD to identify and analyse academic research on education and teaching strategies. These are then discussed with colleagues and applied in lessons to ensure that students make progress in their learning.

Completing my PhD was an amazing personal achievement and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to spend three years exploring an area of historical enquiry that I was passionate about.

The benefits of my academic training have been innumerable, and I’d encourage anyone thinking of undertaking a PhD to apply."

Study PhD History

Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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