Why I chose to study History and Politics

Today I thought I’d answer a question I am often asked by my friends and family, namely: why did I choose to study History and Politics at Queen Mary?

 

I chose to study History at Queen Mary as, for as long as I can remember, I have been in love with it. From being asked to dress as Henry VIII in Year 4 (thankfully no pictures survive of that event), due to my knowledge of the Monarchy, to winning a two-minute talk competition for a presentation on the history of the London Underground (hence my childhood deficiency in vitamin D), History has been a constant favourite subject of mine. However, my interest in politics developed later, particularly during my A-Level years, culminating in my participation in my secondary schools’ mock election in 2015, running parallel with the real general election, where I was given the candidateship of the Liberal Democrats. Below is one of my election posters (warning: it is eye-wateringly cheesy, and the writing is painfully off centre).

 

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I chose Queen Mary, in particular, as it is a Russell Group University, meaning it is one of the leading research universities in the country, located in the heart of London, with achievable entry grades and a unique, welcoming campus atmosphere. On the open day the staff were very friendly, and the course contained exciting modules which caught my attention. My course had a good mix of lectures and seminars. Lectures are large talks on a given subject, I currently have 3 hours of lectures per week, but this varies depending on the modules you take, as certain modules require more/less hours of lectures per week. Seminars are smaller classes where you discuss the lecture topic and the relevant course readings, at the moment I have 5 hours of seminars per week. The course readings are engaging and manageable, as I only have 8 contact hours with an academic per week, independent reading makes up most of the time I spend on a given topic. You put in what you want out, thus the amount of time spent reading around the subject varies from person to person.

 

The study of politics is intrinsically linked to history, especially my preferred twentieth century and Cold War aspects of history, and visa versa. I found studying one enhanced my understanding of the other, hence my desire to develop my knowledge of both subjects further at university level.

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