Postgraduate Students

Kate - MSc (Taught) Contemporary History

Kate, MSc (Taught) in Contemporary History, enjoyed linking historical topics to present day life, in her chosen postgraduate degree.

PG student Kate Barlow

Why did you chose the University of Edinburgh?

The main initial attraction of the University of Edinburgh for me was the city – I had visited a number of times for the Fringe Festival in August and I fell in love with Edinburgh’s beautiful buildings, people, and lively atmosphere. I therefore jumped at the opportunity to spend more time here. The University’s long-standing reputation, both in the UK and internationally, was another hugely influential factor.

What attracted you to this programme in particular?

Having spent most of my undergraduate degree studying early modern history, the opportunity for a complete change in historical focus appealed to me. The ability to link historical topics to present day social life, economics, and culture made the course feel very relevant to today’s political climate. Moreover, the diversity of teaching within the department, providing expertise in historical periods across the globe, was an exciting prospect. A further attraction was a course structure that allows each student to pick from a range of interesting and varied optional courses.

What did you enjoy most about your time here?

It is never a challenge to find something new to do in Edinburgh. Whether it is a pub quiz, a student production, an exhibition at the National Museum, or finding a new place to eat, there is still so much I want to do here. One of my favourite things about living in Edinburgh is how easy it is to explore the rest of Scotland. Trips to nearby beaches, Glasgow, the Pentlands, and the Highlands have been wonderful breaks from studying. When I haven’t had the time to travel, Arthur’s Seat and Blackford Hill are great walks offering beautiful views right in the centre of the city.

Getting involved in student societies has been another highlight of my time here. With so many activities on offer, it is hard to decide which ones to get involved in! For me, starting a new sport (kickboxing) was an exciting way to start my year.

If you could offer any advice to new or current students what would it be?

Take full advantage of the student services on offer at the University – you may not get another chance to throw yourself into a random society or activity, or to attend research seminars on a topic of your choosing. Also, make the most of the careers service to expand your horizons in terms of future employment.