History Personal Statement

Growing up in London, I have been exposed to the city’s history from a very young age. While appreciating the myriad historical eras that have shaped the development of London, it is the Victorian era that fascinates me the most. Throughout this period of significant change, from the Industrial Revolution to the suffrage movement, London has incessantly remained at the centre of history.

Recently I have developed a particular interest in how changes such as the decline of the Liberal party and the rise of the Labour party have deeply rooted themselves in our society, and continue to be felt in our political system today. In this way history has shaped contemporary life and continues to mould, influence and develop it. My affinity with the Victorians reached its fullest this year when I studied 19th and early 20th century British politics. As such, the study of History has opened up my eyes to the textures and contours of society as we see it today, allowing me a greater understanding of contemporary issues. History holds a unifying thread in all the subjects I study at A Level. My pursuit of English Literature is driven by my love of Classical works, which are not only interesting and engaging, but also facilitate my thirst for knowledge of the contrasting characteristics of earlier societies.

Through studying Philosophy and Ethics I have learned how to structure a coherent and consistent argument which is essential in the study of history. I particularly enjoy the synoptic unit of A2 history in which I combine my use of historical sources and historical explanations as well as looking at the historical significance and the role of interpretations in history. Each lesson is set up as a mini ‘tutorial’ which allows me to exercise my independent learning skills. This assignment also allows me to work on a personal area of interest as I have chosen the controversial topic of the historiography of the French Revolution.

The Revolution is considered vital as it marked the beginnings of social justice in France, and provides an interesting comparison to progress in social justice in the UK. To broaden my understanding, I ventured to the British Library, looking through the archives and researching my chosen topic. Research is one of my favourite elements of history. I have acknowledged the fact that history is heavily weighted to reading and the acquiring of information. I can confidently say that I do not consider this as an obstacle or a challenge as I enjoy reading and assimilating ideas. Since starting sixth form, I have started reading academic articles from History Today and Modern History Today. I particularly enjoy these articles as they challenge my thinking and most offer different interpretations about periods of history.

My fervour for History at a higher level was particularly apparent in my AS year when I was awarded the History Student Award for outstanding achievement and progress throughout the year. Furthermore, I was also chosen as a History ambassador for which I represented my school on the ‘Lessons at Auschwitz’ field trip to the Nazi death camps in Auschwitz, Poland. This opportunity allowed me to experience history first hand. Being able to visit the death camps that had such an immense influence on humanity allowed me to reflect on how the past has shaped and structured contemporary society.

During the summer of 2013 I completed a six week internship at BP, during which I worked closely with highly accomplished members of the oil trading team. My work placement allowed me to pick up the key transferable skills that I was seeking. At the end of a vigorous six weeks I gained skills such as independent research across regular and bespoke systems, analytical skills and team working skills all of which I will utilise throughout my History degree. Studying History at university will further my knowledge as there are so many avenues that I have yet to explore and I hope that university will fill in these gaps in my knowledge.

Profile info

This personal statement was written by anisamahbub for application in 2014.

anisamahbub's university choices
Queen Mary, University of London
King's College London
Royal Holloway
The University of Kent

Green: offer made
Red: no offer made

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Statement rating:*****

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