Harry Sanderson, MA War and Strategy student

Harry Sanderson

What made you want to apply to your MA course and to Leeds?

I studied for my undergraduate degree in War Studies at the University of Kent and San Diego State University where I completed a year abroad. Leeds offered the opportunity to continue studying military history under different esteemed historians at a highly ranked university - alongside the chance to move back to the North after four years down south and in America. 

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

Spending most of my childhood staring in wonder at the many displays in the Royal Armouries in Leeds I never truly grew out of my childhood fascination with all things military. This fascination was further nurtured by my discovery of Sharpe as a teenager, and when I realised that I could study military history at university I seized the opportunity. Since I started studying at university I realised this is what I enjoy and it was never an option not to pursue further studies to me.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?  

The best part of my course was the in-class discussions we had between my classmates and the seminar leader. These covered a range of subjects from is war a political or cultural endeavour, to how effective tanks were in 1940. Regardless, they all required you to approach questions in new ways and consider arguments you would not have thought of yourself.

What has been the most surprising thing about coming to Leeds?

I was surprised at how friendly and approachable the staff are. I met my current PhD co-supervisor Dr. Jessica Meyer at a drinks reception and within two minutes we were already discussing potential avenues for my research if I was to continue it for a PhD.

What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?

The learning facilities are in general excellent. The libraries possess extensive collections, and when they haven't had a book I have needed they have always accepted my purchase requests!

What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?

The research clusters provide a good opportunity to meet fellow postgraduate students and take part in both professional and social activities. I am currently part of the War and Peace Resarch cluster which has put on a number of film nights examining historical films and their contents, as well as meals and trips to the pub!

What do you plan to do now you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?

I am currently continuing my MA research into a PhD.