'When I gave up my successful business to pursue the History degree I’d always coveted, I resolved to give myself the best chance of thriving in a new career. Swansea University gave me multiple opportunities to test my abilities, zone in on my passions, and build up that all-important CV, whilst achieving my degree.
I acquired valuable research and report development skills in my first year, after applying for a paid research position at the university. Last summer, I seized the opportunity to join an archaeological dig organised by the university. Over two weeks in Wiltshire, I discovered a passion for the physical evidence left by our ancestors. Archaeology would offer the perfect combination of research and hands-on discovery; I had found my career path. Dr Alex Langlands suggested I volunteer for the Hafod-Morfa copperworks partnership with the university. Through this position I gained invaluable insight into the heritage industry. My experience has now led me to employment as a trainee archaeologist position with a regional company, before the end of my second undergraduate year. The university has provided me all of the tools I will need to hit the ground running after my degree.’
One of the reasons I chose to study history at Swansea was because I was particularly interested in disability history. In my second year I undertook a module called ‘Deformity, Deviance and Difference’ led by Prof. David Turner. I really enjoyed this module and it led me to write my dissertation on ‘The Changing Attitudes Towards Down syndrome in Post-war Britain’. Since finishing my degree, I have published a section of my dissertation with Public Disability History.
As a result of my interest in disability history, I sought a position in the voluntary sector that would allow me to be involved in the progression of attitudes today. I have recently started a job with Mencap as a Caseworker, overseeing the employment service in Oxford. It’s so exciting to be working for an organisation that was referenced within my research and plays such a significant role in changing attitudes towards people with learning disabilities today. I am extremely thankful to David Turner and the rest of the History Department at Swansea, without whom I wouldn’t be in a job I enjoy so much today.
'I chose to study at Swansea because of the variety of interesting modules that were available in addition to my desire to pursue my studies through the medium of Welsh and English at the university.
The part I enjoyed most about the course was an exchange programme the University had set up with the Ruhr University in Germany. It was a fantastic opportunity to collaborate and share ideas with peers from another country. Another favourite part of being at Swansea was the opportunity to work within the wider community of the university. I was involved with an outreach project with schools and libraries which was a fantastic opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds.
Academic and other staff play an important role is supporting their students. At Swansea, the tutors not only took an interest in your academic wellbeing but had an interest in your pastoral wellbeing in providing support throughout studies. From my experience, staff were always on hand to discuss work, ideas and shared interests.
During my studies, I have learned a plethora of new skills. I had the opportunity to work in educational projects at the University’s libraries and archives, as well as connecting with schools. Each person should leave with skills of independent study and organisational skills. In addition to these it was the interpersonal and communicative skills that I gained from university that helped me most as I transitioned to my career in education.’
'I had a brilliant time studying history at Swansea. I really enjoyed my course and the whole experience of being at university as a whole. After University I found work as an Allocation Controller at Tata Steel UK. The skills I developed during my degree - whether it be analytical, communication or taking a lead in situations - have all helped when making the move to this professional role. The lecturers for the history department were really helpful, whether it be issues with work or just general advice on careers. A big thank you to them all!’
'Looking back at my time in Swansea University, I feel honoured to have studied in such a vibrant, inclusive and supportive environment. Completing both an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in history, I had the opportunity to study a wide breadth of subjects, which, paired with exceptional lecturers and stimulating seminars, led to a fulfilling and enriching experience.
The way that the University is set up makes it really easy to meet new people and connect with others from around the world; its location between the Gower and the town centre, makes the balance of academic life and social engagement ideal. My time at Swansea challenged me to be a better individual and when I graduated from the university in 2016, I left with more than just a postgraduate degree; I also took with me a magnitude of analytical, interpretative and collaborative skills which have furthered my success in my teaching career.’