A day in the life of a History student

Gabrielle, 3rd Year History BA

A day in the life of a History Student

Hey there, I’m Gabrielle, a third-year History BA student from Wales here at King’s College London! Every day I feel incredibly lucky to be a student under one of the top History departments in Europe and the World. The History BA is rigorous and intellectually demanding especially as a third-year student! This means my days are usually packed with not only my course contact hours but also lots of independent study. However, I thrive off of this busy schedule and all the amazing opportunities afforded to me by studying in the heart of London. I would love to take this opportunity to give you an insight into a day in the life of a History student at King’s.

Camden Town early in the morning!


My first seminar for the module ‘The Never-Ending War- Britain and the Second World War, 1939-2016’ starts at 9am on Monday morning. The rush from my residence in Camden Town to the Strand so early can be tiring but it is definitely worth it! I love this module which looks at the contested meaning of the Second World War both during the conflict itself and in the post-war period. In particular, today as a group we discussed the condolence letters written to Churchill following the Conservative party’s 1945 election defeat. My lecturer found these in the archives. We were the first to analyse them which meant we got to play an active part in his current research project!


After class, I usually attend an AKC lecture from 12 – 1pm. This is a unique award programme that has been offered by the university since its foundation in 1829! I started the scheme in my first year and I will complete it this year. I really enjoy the lectures as I find them intellectually stimulating. It really affords the opportunity to critically reflect upon questions of theology, philosophy and ethics. I feel it really compliments my main degree and it will make an excellent addition to my graduate C.V.


At this point during the day, I will usually take an hour to chill with my friends over lunch. Usually, we all meet at ‘The Shack’, our student union café, or the ‘Rolls’ Café’ at the Maughan Library. Following lunch, we study together at the university library (which is architecturally unbelievably beautiful!). Once seated I take the time to plan my dissertation which looks at the Welsh Nationalist Party during the Second World War. Thankfully, London has unrivaled access to archives, so I also make a plan of the times to visit them between my classes in the week.

Evening walk across the Embankment
Maughan Library

My final lecture of the day takes place in one of the new lecture theatres in Bush House. This is part of my War thematic special subject module which allows me to study the theme of war across both historical time and space. I find this module very interesting as it encourages you to identify the universals and particulars across eras. This lecture in particular discussed methods of approaching comparative history. I always look forward to the subsequent seminars for this class where we critically engage with the historiography and methodologies of war as a large group.


As the sun starts to set, I take a long walk along the embankment to view the Houses of Parliament, London Eye and Big Ben. I love doing this in the evenings on my way home as it reminds me of how lucky I am to be studying in central London. I then take the tube back to Camden Town where I will complete the reading for my classes later on in the week over a well-earned cup of tea!


Read more:

If you enjoyed this, you might want to check out Virginia’s post on things to do between lectures on Strand Campus.

Click here to learn more about the History BA course at King’s College London.





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