Portrait of Maddy Dawe

Maddy Dawe

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

The International History and Politics (IHP) course is truly unique to Leeds and I felt it was a perfect fit for my interests. I love contemporary history from the 20th century until the present day and was delighted at the chance to focus solely on this time period with this course. The range of modules were so impressive to me as I was discovering topics which I had heard about on the news or in my spare time but would never get the chance to study at school or college. Leeds University seemed to stand out from my other choices: it’s friendly, warm and approachable but also hosts incredible teaching, facilities and has a great reputation.

What is it that makes you passionate about International History and Politics?

Studying International History and Politics has increased my awareness, and understanding of, many events that are taking place in our world today. I feel informed and able to make educated decisions, which is especially important in the current political climate. As I love to travel and understand the world’s cultures, studying international history complements this interest as I can appreciate how different countries have become the way they are today.

Which IHP modules have you particularly enjoyed studying, and why?

The Long Essay module in second year was probably my favourite module to date. It was great to have the chance to pick your own subject to study and the preparation it has given me for my dissertation is invaluable. I chose to write my essay on the UN’s humanitarian interventions in East Timor and Darfur, something which I found enthralling as I have always had an interest in humanitarian work. I am glad that I could combine this aspect of my life with my studies.

Which Discovery Modules have you studied, and how do you feel they have enhanced your time in Leeds? 

I took the opportunity provided through discovery modules to experiment with a lot of different areas of study. I’ve had the chance to study  German through discovery modules, which has been really rewarding. It is this that has made me want to move to the country to study a master’s degree there. 
I also studied modules in professional ethics, theology and Islamic studies: all of which gave me an interesting and fun alternative to my history readings and widened my horizons. It also is a great way to meet new people off different courses with a variety of interests.

What activities have you been involved in outside of your course and what have you got out of being involved? 

I worked part-time throughout my second year of university which enabled me to make more friends, experience working in a vibrant city and earn some money to supplement my student loan. It also helped me to develop my time management skills. 

Do you have any comments about the support you receive from the School of History? 

The support you receive from the School of History goes far beyond the academic. I have attended careers events and talks which have helped me to start considering various careers that I could explore upon finishing my degree. I have found the help from my personal tutor and the Student Support Officer incredibly valuable at certain times throughout my studies – university life can be hard, and it’s good to know that the School is there to help when things get tough!

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

Following on from my course I hope to study an MA in Germany. This is something I would not have considered had it not been for studying here at Leeds. Having had the chance to study the perfect subject, develop my passion for it in an inspiring and supportive environment alongside the chance to develop my German language skills has led me to this exciting potential new chapter. My time at Leeds has helped me to develop my academic, professional and inter-personal skills which will prove invaluable doing further study abroad.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

I would say (and have said, to many prospective students already) that if you love contemporary history, have a real want to develop your understanding and appreciation of the world around you and are willing to work hard then applying to the International History and Politics course at Leeds requires no second thought. It has been everything I expected and more, and I get more excited about my studies every day. The course is rightly getting more popular as the years pass and this is a testament to its quality and uniqueness.