I’m Lauren, and I am going to share with you all the things to look forward to about studying History at York. I am a second year joint honours student and I have been able to choose some amazing modules here. I can’t wait to continue studying what I enjoy.
Choice of modules
This brings me to my first and favourite part of my degree. All history students study some compulsory modules, but there is so much choice in the elective modules on offer. Although I enjoyed my first year, I found my second year was even better. This is because I had the chance to specialise in modules I am passionate about.
While specialisation may imply a narrowing of the things you can study, that is definitely not the case. Last year, I chose varied topics from The History of Modern Medicine to Law and Society in Later Medieval England. I never felt restricted to a specific era or discipline. It’s a great opportunity to study more of what you enjoy. York is a research based university. So, the lecturers delivering each module are passionate about the content. This makes them always open to questions and queries.
The wide variety of modules means that you have the chance to meet different people. Whether studying online or in-person, you can have varied and exciting discussions in seminars with lots of perspectives.
Opportunities outside of my degree
A highlight of studying History at York is the opportunity to get involved in activities. The community of history students is very diverse. It includes many students from joint honours degrees such as History and Politics, History and History of Art or, like me, History and English!
There are lots of student societies where you can socialise with like-minded people. You can also write articles about historical topics that interest you and have them published online. Even though this year has included a great deal of online interaction, there are still many opportunities to meet other people.
Additionally, the department and lecturers are always very friendly. You can get some reading recommendations or find out more about on-going projects. The History department runs regular research seminars, where lecturers and speakers from other universities present their work. I don’t always have to explore history in the context of an assessed degree. I have the chance to enjoy myself while learning.
Facilities to study independently
One of the things that I enjoy about studying history is the self-directed learning and flexible study. It can be a daunting prospect changing from the structure at school. Fortunately, at York that transition couldn’t be easier. There are many online and physical resources. You also have the support of your supervisor.
The university and department websites have loads of helpful information. I have used them a great deal, particularly when working on presentations to help me feel more confident. The library is also a friendly environment. It is open long hours to help students maximise the time at which they work best. Whether you’re an early bird like me or prefer to study in the evening, the library and its resources are there for you. Furthermore, there’s the chance to choose what environment helps you study best.
The different library buildings each have separate rules. There’s the silent work of the Burton building or the studious buzz and hot food at Fairhurst. If like me you need some snacks to keep you going, you can still use the library. You can also study from the comfort of your own room or in one of the great coffee shops in York. Now more than ever, almost every resource you could need is available online.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the wonderful things to look forward to when studying History at York. It’s all the things that inspire me to keep working hard. This makes me feel happy here during these difficult times. Thanks for reading!