You're currently in education, but what is next for you?
After A Levels and compulsory education, your life is in your hands and it is up to you to start making those all-important decisions about what you will do with your time. Will you look for an apprenticeship or paid work when you get your results and A Level qualification? Or will you continue into higher education by applying for funding a diploma or undergraduate degree at an educational establishment in England or Scotland? Whichever path you choose, you may be faced with some huge subjects to ponder, like scholarships, loans, visas, admission deadline dates, accommodation, which employer, etc...
If you are keen on pursuing History and are wondering what more you could with it, then let us tell you a bit more about research degrees like this one, specifically those offered in the Leeds area.
Why should you study History?
We are sure you will agree that History is a fascinating and rewarding subject to study, but it also offers a number of other positive outcomes that could help you out in life.
Regardless of the type of History degree courses you apply to or the specification you choose, any academic History degree will offer a wide range of transferable skills. For instance, lectures, seminars, debates, and your final thesis will encourage you to broaden your professional communication skills (both written and spoken), while the researching demands of the course will require you to gain general IT skills.
On the subject of research, you will no doubt acquire distinguished independent research skills and will improve on your ability to critique and analyse historical texts and sources in terms of reliability and other aspects. Along with your newfound cross-referencing capabilities, you'll also be a strong defender and debater and will be in a position to use all of your knowledge to inform your answers.
As an applicant, these fundamental skills will be key to you finding jobs relating to your degree.
With all of the above in mind, some sectors that are well-suited to History postgraduates are:
- Jobs in Research and Heritage
- Jobs at museums (curators, education officers, exhibition officers)
- Jobs in Media and Journalism
- Jobs in Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations
- Other professional sectors that might appeal to historians include Law, Business and Finance, Politics and the Public Sector.
Graduating with a first class History degree could lead you, more specifically into a career in criminology, psychology, sociology, social work, the creative arts, as a researcher, or it could be a stepping stone to completing a masters doctorate and then a PhD in History. Either way, choosing to study History in your further education will certainly help you to strive towards academic excellence and improve your employability prospects.
Beyond the Career: Why History is Just Good to Know.
Yes, studying history is great for your employment prospects. But the study of the subject is just so important for reasons other than this. If you are only studying for the sake of your career, then you're never going to make the most of your subject. So listen up for reasons why you should be aware of your history regardless of your job prospects.
'The Past is Never Dead, It's Not Even Past'.
The American novelist, William Faulkner, wrote this in one of his novels, Requiem for a Nun, in which the effects of a past trauma play out in the mind and actions of a woman's mind.
Why is this relevant here? Because knowing history gives you an insight into the present. The stuff that has happened 'in the past' need not be thought to be hermetically sealed off from the lives we live today. Rather, history affects everything we live - from society, politics, and science to our culture and the very language we speak.
Think about this thing called 'Brexit', which, at the time of writing, is still a much discussed concern in contemporary British discourse. What appears to be a straightforward question of whether or not to remain a member of a trade bloc has brought to the surface a massive cultural upheaval, a real collective drama. And why is this?
It's because this action of leaving a trade bloc is not only that. It inevitably raises questions of what we are as a nation - in the sense that this dispute is reawakening long-buried issues surrounding the Irish-Northern Irish border - as well as questions about who we are as a nation, our values, ambitions, and past. Whilst the former issue re-triggers an issue of only a few decades, the latter speaks to concerns that are centuries old.
And really, to understand this political crisis, it is entirely necessary to have a sense of the history that is motivating it. Even in this little example, the past is absolutely not past.
'A People that Keeps Their Memory Sleeps the Sleep of a Lion'.
Giuseppe Mazzini, the Italian revolutionary, politician, and journalist wrote the above in the 1820s. What did he mean by it?
Well, as we've said, Mazzini was a revolutionary - and this was written at a particularly revolutionary moment. Here, he is suggesting to the people that a sense of history is essential in preserving their political power. What he means is that a knowledge of history is a necessary antidote to political oppression.
Whilst this sounds all a bit lofty, the point here is an important one: 'knowledge is power', as said Francis Bacon, and knowledge of history is one of those things that turn a person into a citizen, someone who is informed enough to vote, to contribute to society, to recognise the consequences of political decisions.
'History Repeats Itself, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce'
Most people know this quotation, by Karl Marx, the philosopher, economist, and historian - and so they should. This one refers to the tendency for things to repeat themselves. And a knowledge of history can help to prevent this.
Why? Because you can develop a sense of why certain things happen, how to manage them if they do happen, and what the results might be.
These days, there is a lot of conversation around the idea of the rise of fascism - with lots of distrust of politicians, an apparent growth in racism, and an openness to authoritarianism. But, looking at history, we know what the consequences of this will be - and they are going to be far far from pretty. Knowing this can alert people to the dangers of its contemporary emergence.
Benefits Of Studying In Leeds
If you are from Leeds, then you will know all about the amazing city. However, if you are being drawn to Leeds from elsewhere (maybe even overseas) because it has a great accredited university course on offer (according to the world university rankings), or because you've heard great things about its city and campuses, then we are about to reconfirm how brilliant it is for students like you to be taught and to live in Leeds! We hope the below answers a number of faqs from prospective students at Leeds' top universities.
Leeds is the third biggest city in the UK and is a great place to study and work, as well as a magnet for tourism. It's also home to two universities on the top university rankings list: Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Met University) and the University of Leeds, both of which have great research facilities.
According to Visit Leeds, "the financial and professional services sector in Leeds City Region is the largest financial centre outside of London and a major hub for professional services, contributing £13bn of gross value added (GVA) to the economy, with nearly half of the population working in professional, managerial and associate professional jobs."
Leeds City Region has a £66.5 billion economy, so you know that if you chose to stick around after your degree then you'd be getting your career off to a great start.
What's more, Leeds has a reputation for being a great place to live.
Salary wise, Leeds came in sixth place in Moneysupermarket.com's Quality of Living sorting index ahead of Manchester and Birmingham, with the Chapel Allerton and Otley suburbs making the Sunday Times Best Places to Live in Britain. The average salary of £22,677 has made a huge impact on its popularity, plus its much more affordable weekly cost of living than the UK average. This means that to work in or to travel to Leeds for work could be a real money-saver for you.
Moreover, Leeds offers existing and prospective students a range of nightclubs, pubs, and bars as well as some great music venues like the O2 Academy, the Key Club, the Brudenell Social Club, and Carpe Diem. During the day, you can discover historical sites like Leeds City Museum, Industrial Museum & Royal Armouries as well as art galleries such as Leeds Art Gallery and impressive architecture like the Kirkstall Abbey and Lotherton Hall. You can really take advantage of the fantastic venue we know as Leeds City!
Leeds History Courses
Studying history in Leeds is a great idea - no matter what level or qualification you will be looking at studying for. Here, we are going to take a look at some of the best options around - for high school revision, university, and adult learning.
|Secondary School||Try out Justin Craig Tuition, Tutor2U, or Superprof for History tuition|
|University||The most prestigious universities in the city for history are the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett.|
|Adult Learners||Try Leeds City College, the Open University, or Sociable History Club|
Learning History for High School
If you are revising for your history exams - whether in A Level, GCSE, or IB - there are plenty of resources, events, and courses to support you. These might be revision workshops, longer courses, or tuition options, and Leeds is full of them. There's no chance of the historian in you being held back if you sign up to any of these options.
History Revision with Tutor2U
Tutor2U is an organisation that offers intensive revision days in a range of different subjects. Usually they take place in huge cinemas or theatres, and offer places for hundreds of people. Academics, teaching staff, and professionals come from all over the world to teach you the most important things you'll need to know for your history exams.
So, whether it's GCSE or A Level, you'll find a 'grade booster' workshop to help you out.
Revise for History with Justin Craig
Just down the road in Harrogate, you'll find Justin Craig, an outpost of a larger organisation that specialises in revision classes for GCSE and A Level. You'll join an intimate little group of students of a similar level to focus on the history topics, themes, and ideas that you will need to crack for your exam.
They have made a name for themselves as really professional, experienced, and effective teachers. The courses run through the Easter holidays and, whilst they're a little pricey, they're pretty certain to get you where you need to be.
Higher Education History Programmes
Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Met University) - History BA
"From landscapes and air pollution to the politics of revolution, learn about how modern history continues to shape our world and how historians look to the future based on their understanding of the past. Expand your knowledge of social, cultural and political development in Britain, Europe and the wider world from 1700 onwards. Analyse documents including films, official records, personal narratives and letters in the context of global events. Work directly with communities in Leeds and help uncover the city's rich history. With transferable skills in research, writing and critical analysis, you will be a highly employable graduate.
We celebrate students and staff with a true passion for the Arts and Humanities.
Through inspired teaching and intellectual debate, plus day to day interaction with award-winning authors and playwrights, a rolling programme of media industry professionals, published lecturers and world-renowned researchers, we will nurture your passion by developing your creative and critical thinking.
Then we will open your mind to the wide range of opportunities to pursue a career you love, be it anything from writing and teaching, through journalism and copywriting, business and marketing, to research and publishing.
Leeds is the Northern heart of culture and the arts. Your campus sits in the very centre of the city,surrounded by over 18 museums, 10 art galleries, 17 theatres, 4 film production companies and 3 recording studios (plus the odd bar, restaurant and club!). We work directly with Leeds museums and galleries and many regional events, including the Ilkley Literature Festival and the Leeds West Indian Carnival.
Our research and teaching explore a diversity of topics, from South Africa under Apartheid to the cultural impact of the LGBTQ community and from on-line racism in football to 21st century genres. We?re also very hands-on: from regular conferences, seminars and events organised by our Centre for Culture and the Arts, to collaborations with institutes and cultural organisations.
Take a look at the opportunities we provide to study abroad.
A collaboration with multinational services network PwC granted our history and English students exclusive access to the company’s archives to compile a unique collection of letters sent during WWI."
University of Leeds - History BA
"This prestigious course allows you to explore a huge range of issues and themes, from the fall of the Roman Empire to the 21st century and spanning across the globe.
Core modules will give you a firm foundation to understand historical change and gain valuable research skills. You can also choose from a wide selection of optional modules to explore periods and societies that really interest you. Whether it’s medieval medicine or modern Africa, there’s plenty to discover.
Our School of History is one of the largest in the UK, meaning we have expert tutors in an exceptionally broad range of areas – and their cutting-edge research will inform what and how you learn. We also have top-class facilities, including one of the biggest university libraries in England. It’s a great place to study one of the broadest and most challenging degrees on offer.
Leeds has excellent resources for historians. The world class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections, including several National Collections, and the University Library offers comprehensive training programmes to help you make the most of the facilities we have.
Year 1 is about your transition to degree-level study. We help you to gain a good grounding in historical periods through modules in medieval and modern history. We also help you to develop strong research skills for the whole of your time at University and beyond.
Once you’ve built that base of knowledge and skills, you can choose optional modules across Year 2 to help you focus on the social, cultural, political or economic themes that suit your interests. You’ll study at least two modules in the modern period and two from earlier times, but you can really tailor your degree to suit you.
By Year 3, you’ll have a clear idea of how to apply what you’ve learnt to a special subject, focusing on a specific topic in depth with the help of primary sources. You’ll also put your knowledge and skills into practice when you write a longer research dissertation on a topic of your choice."
History Classes for Adults
You haven't finished learning just because you have left school or university. And if you want to go back to studying as an adult, there is no reason why you shouldn't do this.
The 'Leeds Adult Learning' website is a great place to take a look at the things on offer for you. However, meanwhile, we have put a few down right here.
Take an A Level in History at Leeds City College
No matter your age, you can take an A Level. And these are offered by the Leeds City College, an institution with over 25,000 students spread across eight campuses.
Here, you'll be able to find the courses you need - say to get into university or make yourself more employable - and it's a really great environment to be studying in.
Study for a History Degree with the Open University
The Open University is the institution to go to if you are an adult learner with a desire to study for a degree remotely. There is simply no better place to do it in the UK.
The History BA is studied full-time over three years, and can be taken part-time too if you have other commitments (obviously, this will take slightly longer). You'll cover a wide range of historical periods, ideas, and theories, and have the opportunity to conduct research into topics of your choice.
Worth knowing that there are some entry requirements for these courses - however, these are not academic. As long as you have basic knowledge of computers, know how to use the internet, and can speak English, you are set.
Sociable History Club
For any adults looking for some extra history knowledge - but no formal qualification - Leeds's Sociable History Club is a great option. They hold weekly events - mainly talks and workshops - focusing mainly on the history of the Leeds and the lives of famous residents.
Whilst not a rigorously academic option, it's a great opportunity to meet other history buffs and learn something interesting in the meantime.
Private History Tuition
If none of these options tickle your fancy, try out Superprof, our online platform that connects students to tutors. Right now, we have over six and a half million tutors across the world, offering tuition in over one thousand subjects. Of course, history is one of them.
If you would like your tuition tailored directly to you - for whatever reason, revision, university admission help, or personal pleasure - then there is no reason not to take a look on Superprof. And once you have finished with history, move onto a different subject!
If you liked finding out about the courses on offer in this city, why not consult our other guides: