Peter Richards It was a double celebration today (Thursday, January 26) for high-achieving student Peter Richards, who received his MA (Master of Arts) in Maritime and Imperial History from Swansea University – and who has also won a prestigious national prize for his Maritime History dissertation.

Peter, who lives in Pontardawe, graduated from the College of Arts and Humanities at the University’s Winter Degree and Award Congregations held in Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall.

He has also won the British Commission for Maritime History’s prize for his dissertation in maritime history.

Peter’s dissertation, which is entitled “An analysis of voyaging in ships of the East India Company from 1750-1833,” beat off stiff competition from MA students from across the UK. 

Peter said: “I am a bit of a late starter when it comes to history.  I worked as a dentist for many years but decided on a change of direction following an accident.  I am thrilled to receive my MA and honoured to receive the British Commission for Maritime History prize.”

In awarding Peter the prize for his dissertation, the judge wrote, “This is an outstanding dissertation in terms of its data collection and the sheer scale of the material gathered and presented. It is well-written and engaging, and the author’s grasp of the material is formidable.”  

Peter wins a £100 prize, sponsored by the Maritime Information Association, and he will be offered the opportunity to present a paper based on his research at the BCMH’s New Researchers’ Conference in Glasgow in March. 

Huw Bowen, Professor of Modern History at Swansea University, said: “Peter has done extraordinarily well both in his MA but also in winning this prestigious prize.

“The British Commission for Maritime History awards its prize to dissertations only of the very highest quality, and Peter should be very proud of his achievement.”

Peter added: “I am now looking forward to continuing my current research work with the Hafod Copperworks project, here in Swansea, and I also hope to continue with my maritime history research in the future.”