James Jones

MA History, 2014

James Jones

I decided to do my Masters in History at Brookes as I felt it would give me an excellent platform from which to progress, possibly towards a PhD

James Jones stayed on at Oxford Brookes to study the MA in History following his undergraduate degree. The varied mix of taught and research-based elements of the course was the key attraction, but he was also keen to experience Brookes’ exciting new facilities first hand.

I decided to do my Masters in History at Brookes as I felt it would give me an excellent platform from which to progress, possibly towards a PhD. Having studied at Brookes at undergraduate level for three years, I felt that Brookes would be the best place for me to complete my Masters as I already knew the institution, the wide range of resources it had to offer and I had built up links with the staff. Also, the campus redevelopment promises to be very exciting and I didn't want to miss out on the new facilities such as the new library and the new Students’ Union!

The freedom to study topics which are of personal interest, whilst having the strong support framework from the staff, was important for me. The wide range of taught topics was impressive: I’ve studied historical topics which I would never have considered and I've ended up loving them! I think choice was one of the crucial factors which attracted me to the course.

The relatively-small class sizes mean that everyone gets a chance to share and discuss their ideas and I feel as though my contributions are really valued, by fellow students and lecturers alike. The modules on the course are assessed imaginatively, which makes the course much more engaging. I was lucky enough to receive the John Henry Brookes scholarship which has taken away some of the financial pressure of doing a Masters and has allowed me to focus more on my studies.

Oxford is a city geared towards students and is an incredible place to study. You only have to walk around the city centre to appreciate its historical links with learning and education. It's not a massive city but it has everything you could possibly need. Brookes plays a central role in the city so you always feel like part of the community.

Apart from the excellent resources at Brookes, there’s the Bodleian Library in town which we have access to and Oxford’s close proximity to London is fantastic – to hop on a coach from outside the university and be in Victoria in less than an hour-and-a-half is so handy. I’ve made several trips to the National Archives for my research and Oxford’s location really helps making this journey easier.

I think that the Brookes course will definitely help me in my future career plans. The History Department at Oxford Brookes is world-renowned for its research and the academic staff here are at the top of their game.

My research skills have really developed and the freedom to independently learn and develop my own ideas has been of great benefit to me. The close proximity of Brookes to London and other cities has also opened up opportunities for work experience which would definitely be of interest to employers.

Throughout my undergraduate degree, I was a member of the jazz society and I have continued that whilst doing my Masters. It’s a great way to socialise with others doing different courses and to build up links and contacts from all over the university.

Brookes is a fantastic university at which to study, located in a dynamic and world-famous city and with the main campus re-development, it certainly is a very exciting time to be studying at Brookes.