5 things I wish I’d considered when choosing a University to study History

Hi everyone, my name is Milly and I am a third-year history student at KCL! In this blog post I am going to share the 5 things I wish I’d considered when I was choosing a university.

Module choices

I think it is incredibly important to look at the module selections for universities that interest you. For my course, it is a useful exercise to identify the areas of history you have enjoyed studying so far and new topics that you like the sound of learning about too, and see which universities have relevant modules that match your interests. When I was applying to KCL, I loved that KCL had an extensive range of history modules from the medieval period through to the modern period. I was also very pleased to discover that KCL offers intercollegiate modules and a study abroad option for history in second year. I studied an intercollegiate module at UCL in second year and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Contact hours and teaching

Secondly, it is also useful to look into how the teaching is structured and how many contact hours you would have per week at university. As a history student you can expect to have 7-8 hours a week of contact hours, with a mixture of lectures and seminars. This timetable allows you to learn to manage your independent research and coursework effectively. I was very pleased to find that the history seminar groups are often relatively small and allow a focused environment where all pupils are encouraged to participate.

Access to resources and study spaces

One of my favourite things about studying at KCL is the extensive access to resources and archives to help you with your history studies. As a history student at KCL you receive access to Maughan library and the many books and archives it contains, you also have the option to become a member of Senate House Library and have access to its resources. Additionally, you are granted access to an extensive collection of online resources to aid your history research. There are also many study areas available both on campus and off campus, from the history floor in the strand building to one of KCL’s four libraries, you will find somewhere to get work done!

Field Trips

I was really pleased to find out there were various field trips available to history students at KCL, lots of these are module specific so it is worth having a look at the module descriptions. In second year, there was a field trip as part of the ‘History and Memory’ module, you are also encouraged to explore local sites in London independently too. In third year as part of the module ‘Young Lives: Growing up in Liverpool, London, Melbourne and Sydney, 1870-1970’, we went on a field trip to Liverpool and visited the museum of Liverpool and the Walker Art Gallery.

Assessment Structure

Before starting at university, I was incredibly nervous about how the assessment would work for history and the number of exams I would have to sit. I wish I had looked into this as the transition from A-Levels to degree level assessments was far less daunting than I had imagined! For history, the assessment is split between exams and coursework and the occasional presentation/group activity depending on the module. There are typically two essays per module and an exam per module too usually at the end of Term 2. There is academic support available to you all year to help you with this process too, making it much more manageable than I had imagined.

For more information on studying History at King’s:


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