- Course: BA International History and Politics
“During my second year of A-Levels I took part in the Access to Leeds programme. As part of this, I undertook several core modules that greatly improved my academic skills and made adjusting to university much easier. For example, the critical reading and notetaking module enhanced my revision skills, and referencing module meant that I already understood both the Harvard and MHRA referencing system before starting university. I was also able to take an optional module in presentation skills, which developed my communication skills greatly, meaning I feel more confident when presenting to people. I found the programme helpful for meeting other students.
When comparing the different degree programmes between various universities, I noticed that at Leeds the course focused primarily on twentieth century history. Studying International History and Politics allows me to research in depth the period of history that I am particularly passionate about. I find the twentieth century fascinating in terms of the global impact of many events during this century, and the relevance of these events today. For example, I am able to focus my studies on twentieth century Russian history and how the countries relationships with other nations changed. Furthermore, I am able to study other significant events that are still highly relevant today, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict.
I have also been involved in the Undergraduate Research & Leadership (UGRL) scheme. My UGRL project focused on the connections between the prestigious antiques dealer Phillips of Hitchin and various museums and galleries across Britain during the twentieth century. This involved reading through several volumes of stock books to locate sales from Phillips to museums and galleries. I also travelled to the British Library in London in order to search for references to sales. I found the researching aspect of my UGRL project incredibly valuable, as it greatly developed my ability to locate salient information within a source and expanded my knowledge of the social history of twentieth century Britain.
Once I have finished my undergraduate course I plan to continue with my studies to post-graduate level with a Masters course and hopefully going on to study a PhD, where I can specialise in the period of Russian history I’m interested in. The skills and knowledge I’ve developed at Leeds will aid me greatly with these plans, as my communication, organisational, and research skills have all been enhanced during my degree.”