History Personal Statement Example 22

Arthur Marwick wrote that "because everything has a history, history as a body of knowledge and as a discipline covers everything." The mental conditioning one undergoes throughout a history degree is what sets it apart. The skills developed, particularly in selecting, harmonising and presenting information, are valuable throughout one's career, whether it be a continued involvement in academia or in law, the latter being a career path which I have researched extensively.

My A Level courses on post-WWI Germany, Britain in the early 1900s, modern Russia and the Korean and Vietnam Wars have truly encapsulated the history I wished to study. The after-effects of these periods are still visible in society today and the understanding I have gained during the course has allowed me to fully appreciate why society is shaped the way it is. Although this is applicable to all history, the wealth of contemporary sources at hand and relative modernity meant that I felt I had a clearer picture of the world in which they lived, and could associate with the values of those I studied.

My initial interest in history arose as a result of a series of circumstances. Living very near to England's oldest recorded town, Colchester, I have been able to visit the castle, built by William the Conqueror and the Roman temple it was built over. My birthplace, Dachau, in Bavaria, allowed me to visit places such as Neuschwanstein Castle built by Ludwig II. The richness of the history I grew up in furthered my desire to learn more about it. Dachau also has the unfavourable reputation of having one of the first Nazi concentration camps. I visited them as a child, not fully understanding what they represented; my return visit two years ago deeply chilled me. I asked myself 'How could people let this happen?' It is conundrums such as these which sparked my interest in History.

A truly hands-on appreciation of history is often a feature of my family holidays. I have visited many places of historical interest including Chichen Itza in Mexico, where I was awed by the ruins of the fabulously preserved Mayan city with its grimly fabulous tales. In France I visited the Palace at Versailles and stood in the Hall of Mirrors, a place where the First World War was formally ended. It was a profound experience that helped me to fully appreciate the history I was studying.

History-based activities have taken up a large amount of my free time. As an avid reader, many of the books I read are based on historical events. Works such as 'Tyrant' by Manfredi, detailing the life of Dionysius of Syracuse are fascinating. When I have finished them, I find myself compelled to research the subjects more thoroughly. The case of Dionysius was particularly gripping as the portrayal of him is wholly subjective, many, including Dante in his divine comedy, saw him as a cruel and vindictive tyrant whereas Manfredi sees him as a 'great protagonist'. Historiography of any sort, whether it be the debates on the Duke of Somerset in the reign of Edward VI between historians such as A. F. Pollard and M.L. Bush, or the views on Stalin's Russia, has become of particular interesting to me and something which has been developed during my A levels.

Besides reading, I enjoy playing guitar and whilst I have not yet played in a band, I hope to find likeminded individuals at university. Of my hobbies, I am most interested in cricket, playing all matches for one of the school teams. This has led to me joining a club for the upcoming season and I hope that I will be able to continue this passion at university. I have also been an avid member of the Air Training Corps, quickly attaining the rank of Cadet Sergeant. Soon I became the most senior NCO on the squadron, allowing me to represent my wing at an overseas camp at in Germany. My experiences were manifold, it brought my drive and determination to the fore and the discipline of the ATC has stood me in good stead during my GCSE and A level revision!

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This personal statement was written by TooseyTJ for application in 2008.

TooseyTJ's Comments

Got 5/5 for this personal statement. Must admit that some of this was borrowed from this site, particularly the quote in the first para but when I spoke with the admissions tutor on the history open day of my chosen Uni (Royal Holloway) he said that he was most impressed with the more personal things (trips abroad, living in germany etc) rather than the generic brown nosing of how brilliant it is to study history. Hope this helps

My uni choices were
Exeter - AAA
Royal Holloway - AAB - Chosen uni
Warwick - AAB
Leeds - AAB


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just wanted to point out that

just wanted to point out that i have been told several times now, including by oxbridge admissions tutors, not to include famous quotes in a PS.
however, if you got 5/5 as you said you did, then this obviously doesn't harm you and overall it seems to be a really good statement, well done.
but i just wanted to make that point for other people

this is amazing!

this is amazing!

Royal Holloway

This is an amazing personal statement. I am also looking to study History at Royal Holloway, how did you find your experience? I am slightly worried by the location as it deems less lively than others.


Say, you got a nice article post.Much thanks again. Great.

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