History Personal Statement Example 45
History may repeat itself, but never in the same way. The history of the world is ever changing and exciting. New history is made and written every day, so the past is always significant, whether it be five or five hundred years ago. This is what has inspired me to continue the study of history at university.
Whilst modern history interests me, I look forward to the medieval aspects of history, as this is something we do not get the chance to study at school, and will broaden my understanding of the subject. My wider reading has allowed me to touch upon this side of history, as in preparation for the European half of my course I read 'Russia under the Old Regime' by Richard Pipes. It explores the culture and politics of Russia prior to the revolution, alongside the evolution of the patrimonial regime; and brutality of Russian life between the 9th and 18th centuries. Noting how and why some of Pipes's key arguments about the roots of Russian autocracy have been challenged by other historians has given me an insight into how history is conducted at degree level. Taking part in a nuclear proliferation debate during MUNGA allowed me to develop my debating skills, inspiring me to read 'The Cold War' by John Lewis Gaddis; which made me question the origin of the conflict.
Within my AS studies I enjoyed both the political and social aspects of the course, particularly the Liberal Welfare reforms and the women's suffrage movement. Studying the struggle between repression and reform in Russia in the 19th century was challenging and enjoyable, as I was able to compare the agricultural nature of the country to that of the rapidly industrialising Germany. My interest in British history led me to explore 'A History of Modern Britain' by Andrew Marr, which was superficial but informative. Vincent’s 'An Intelligent Person's Guide to History' has led me to become more critically aware of the meaning of historical evidence, helping with my understanding of historiography and the differences between schools of thought.
My other A level choices are complementary to the study of history. Psychology requires a critical mind and evaluation skills. English Literature has enhanced my written and spoken communication. It has improved my analytical skills through working on a variety of texts, and my ability to effectively convey balanced arguments. These are all key transferable skills which will aid me in university study. I look forward to continuing with history at degree level, as it will introduce me to new kinds of history, such as cultural and religious, during a variety of time periods. The warring schools of thought will help me to challenge my own ideas and appreciate historical perspectives. The degree will further improve my analytical skills through viewing detailed material and primary sources, learning to better condense facts and arguments.
My sixth form extra-curricular pursuits have all helped broaden my historical understanding and related skills; from the geopolitics of our Model United Nations General Assembly, to the research and presentation opportunities provided by Young Enterprise; and my Extended Project on capital punishment. My sense of involvement in school has grown upon becoming a house captain. My EPQ has improved my ability to write in length about a topic, as well as my organisation and time management abilities. Outside of school, I work part-time in a Financial Services company, helping customers and assisting the team to keep ahead of their workload. This role demonstrates my ability to balance my responsibilities.
I look forward to continuing my study of history at University, as it will be an intellectually stimulating experience, and I believe that since history is the study of human life in all its aspects, it is the ideal preparation for a future career.
This personal statement was written by elles96 for application in 2014.
MA History (Hons at The University of Edinburgh
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