Ellis - MSc (Taught) in Contemporary History
Recent MSc in Contemporary History student, Ellis, was drawn by the breadth and diversity of the subject area.
Why did you choose the University of Edinburgh?
I chose to study at the University of Edinburgh based upon its internationally recognised reputation for academic excellence, but also for its central location in one of the world's most culturally active and vibrant cities.
What attracted you to this programme in particular?
The opportunity to explore recent events – that had yet to be given the epithet 'historical'– from a historian's perspective was a unique draw for me. In particular, being able to work within a faculty that boasts interests in contemporary history that span the globe was a key attraction as it would allow me to explore diverse aspects and regions of history that fell beyond the remit of my undergraduate studies. Furthermore, that this programme foregrounded the concept of 'contemporary history' suggested that I would be able to learn those methodologies that have allowed historians to reconcile the complexities of composing histories of the present within their academic field.
What did you enjoy most about your time here?
Being in Edinburgh has meant that there are always welcome distractions from studying readily available! The National Museum of Scotland and National Library of Scotland are both only a few minutes walk away from the School of History, Classics, and Archaeology and, as well as being valuable archives, both regularly host exciting events such as 'Museum Lates' which saw the museum put on an evening of live music, silent discos, pop-up bars, and history talks. Another fact of Edinburgh life is that there is a pub quiz for every day of the week held in one of the many pubs in the university's immediate vicinity. Facilitated by student discounts, there's no better way to test your university studies by forming a quiz team and knowingly tutting your way through a history round.
Edinburgh is a seasonal city in that it takes on the appearance of a huge Christmas market in winter, before becoming a focus of the international arts community in the summer when they converge on the city for a range of lively festivals.