Nick Eatough

MA History

Nick Eatough

I chose Brookes partly because it was convenient from Berkshire, where I was living at the time, but more because of the vibrant and exciting History department that exists there. The fact that the department holds a 5*A rating for its research also made it very appealing

After nine years spent in the teaching profession, I felt the need to take a year out to embark on the ultimate professional development – an MA in History at Oxford Brookes. I chose Brookes partly because it was convenient from Berkshire, where I was living at the time, but more because of the vibrant and exciting History department that exists there. The fact that the department holds a 5*A rating for its research (better than most departments at Russell group universities) also made it very appealing.

The best thing about the MA at Brookes was the opportunity it provided to get back to some serious academic study. As an undergraduate, I read History at UCL between 1993 and 1996 and really enjoyed it but I was by now a much better student than I had been then; after nine years of teaching History at GCSE and A-Level, you inevitably amass a significant body of knowledge and skill that you want to develop further. Moreover, the great thing about going back to university the second time around is that you realise how fortunate you are to have the opportunity. The prospect of a day free from the concerns of the real world and the chance to study in quiet corner of the Bodleian library (all Brookes M.A. students get access) is something you treasure when you know how difficult the challenges of professional life can be!

The successful completion of my MA had significant career benefits. I was lucky enough to be appointed as Head of history at Millfield School in 2008 and I now lead a large department at what is a premier, all-round, independent school of 1250 students. It became clear afterwards that my decision to take the MA at Brookes had made a difference in my getting the job.

In conclusion, my decision to take a career break in order to pursue the M.A. was one of the best I have made. Nothing ventured, nothing gained: I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone considering the possibility.