Sunday, 22 September 2013

University: My Third Year of BA History

This time tomorrow, I will officially be a third year History student. Yes, the next 24 hours mark the start of my final year of my degree - a fact that probably won't sink in until lectures start and the essays pile up. This time last year, I posted about my upcoming modules in my course and I felt it necessary to repeat it for my last year, for tradition's sake. So if you enjoy revelling in the academic suffering of others, or whether you're starting university and wondering how much work is involved in the final year of BA History, click on through!

At my university, in our first year we're given a balance of early and modern modules to make sure we can apply our skills to all eras. In my second year, I chose mostly modern history modules because it was the first time I was given the freedom to choose what I was studying, and modern is my 'thing'. But when you get to third year, there's less modules to balance out around the dissertation, although they're a lot more in-depth and challenging, so you really need to pick things you're interested in and won't confuse you too much, because you'll be spending most of your time panicking about the dissertation. So these are the subjects I've picked, feel free to leave a comment informing me of my impending doom at the hands of the Romans...

Pax Romana
One module that stretches across both semesters this year is the Depth Study, and I chose the Pax Romana, which covers the Julio-Claudian and Flavian dynasties of the Roman Empire. Roman history has always been an interest of mine because it wasn't really pushed much in my school, so I've still got the drive to learn about it.
I was in no way persuaded to choose this by the way our lecturer used this still from Life Of Brian on the uni website. Not at all. That's a lie.
People called Romanes they go the house.

Trials and Memories of War: Japan and Germany
Okay, so it's another modern module, but I couldn't help myself, this title had me hooked. Focusing on the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials, this module is going to keep me sane through all the dissertation work because I'm a sucker for the psychological side of history, finding out the motives behind people's actions, the excuses they gave to talk themselves out of guilt. I've learnt all about the Nuremberg trials thanks to my WWII-obsessed parents, but I'm curious to learn more about the Tokyo trials.

Greek and Roman Comedy Theatre
This was an obvious choice for me, given I still bitterly regret not continuing my Classical Civilisation AS onto A2 at college. I figured comedy theatre would at least keep a smile on my face through the last semester, not only because the Greeks and Romans are hilarious anyway. 

Saving the biggest til last! My dissertation topic isn't the most optimistic, or even something remotely interesting to anyone else, but it's something I've been researching for nearly two years both for studies and recreation, so it was the sensible choice. I won't blab about my specific dissertation title, but I'm studying the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989. Modern China is my bag baby, and this is definitely the subject I'll enjoy squeezing 10,000 words out of.

Writing this makes me feel as if my time at university has flown by, but I'm always aware I have the hardest year ahead of me academically, so if I take a step back from the blog for the next few months, please don't take it personally!

As always, I'd love to know what you're studying - are you at school, college or university? What are you expecting to get up to this year?

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  1. Modern history is totally my thing too. I HATE ancient history! I very nearly studied Victorian History at uni, but my A level teacher was so terrible that I lost all passion for studying it. This makes me sad today as I love history so much!


  2. Good luck with your third year :) I'm starting my MSc tomorrow! I'm doing the Clinical Foundations of Psychology. I'm so excited! x x x

  3. I love modern history and I am always fascinated by Nazi Germany. I read an amazing book about the Nuremberg trials for my personal statement. I was literally hooked on it, its so interesting, it was a combination of law, psychology and history.
    Sounds like your third year will be good. I start my third year of law tomorrow and I'm dreading it!

    Good Luck!!


    The Shelley Diaries

  4. Oh wow, I'd love to sit in on most of your modules! They all sound super interesting and those are a lot of the bits of history I liked. ood luck with the dissertation, no doubt you will ace it.


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