Rachel Davies

History, 2015

“History is a degree that gives you an excellent and diverse range of skills which means my career options are in no way limited”

Rachel was attracted to the Brookes’ History course due to the diversity of the modules and the chance it offered to really focus on specific areas of History that she loved.

Before coming to Brookes I was studying for my A levels in History, Psychology and English Literature back at home in Birmingham. I chose History as it is a subject that has always interested me, even from a young age, as I think it is very important to understand our past in order to get an idea of how the world has formed into what it is today. To be able to study it in more detail and focus on specific areas of History is something that I always wanted to do – so completing a degree in the subject seemed to be the next logical step for me.

Brookes seemed to offer a diverse range of interesting modules around many different subject areas – particularly in second and third year. This attracted me to the course as I could choose to focus on areas of History that I really enjoyed. The range of subject areas also meant that the Brookes’ academic staff could offer expertise in so many different areas – which was incredibly helpful in tutorials for assignments and for my dissertation.

Due to the nature of the course our contact hours were always minimal – but the amount of rich content that lecturers included in their lectures and seminars made up for this. The minimal hours meant the course was very independently led – which I think has enabled me to develop skills that will help me throughout my life.

Oxford is one of the most beautiful cities – and I feel lucky to have had the chance to live here and explore it as much as I can. There is always so much to do – and I am always discovering new places to go that I didn’t know existed before! It is also a good size – not too big to be overwhelming – but big enough that you have access to everything you could want.

History is a degree that gives you an excellent and diverse range of skills which means my career options are in no way limited. Through writing so many essays and completing a vast range of assignments the degree has not only improved my writing skills but also my people skills – and made me an all-round more confident person.

A History degree requires you to do the majority of work for yourself – you are definitely not spoon fed anything! This at first seems a bit scary – but it has meant that I have had to research extensively on my own, find out vast amounts of information for myself and then make sense of it all! This has made me more confident when completing tasks and working independently, and I think this quality is attractive to employers.

The academic staff are incredibly knowledgeable in their chosen fields and this was extremely useful when it came to advice on assignments. Anne-Marie Kilday’s lectures were always fascinating and increased my passion for the subject. My dissertation supervisor – Viviane Quirke – was invaluable during my third year and helped me massively in gaining a dissertation grade I could be proud of.