Prospective postgraduates

What our students think

We interviewed a recent MSc in History student, Meg, about the programme and her time with us.

Photo of Meg Dolan

Why did you choose the University of Edinburgh?

I chose the University of Edinburgh because I visited Edinburgh in 2015 and absolutely fell in love with it.  It’s such a beautiful city, and I learned so much about Scottish History that I had never encountered before.  It’s so dramatic and interesting, I was hooked instantly and I thought to myself: what better place to study Scottish History than in the capital of Scotland?

What attracted you to this programme in particular?

The Taught MSc programme appealed to me because I felt that the format of 2 semesters of seminar classes plus a shorter dissertation over the summer would work better for my learning style, as opposed to 2 years of mainly self-directed research.  Classroom learning has always been preferable for me, and I think the opportunity to have seminar discourse with fellow students from many different backgrounds, as well as to delve into subjects I wouldn’t necessarily seek out on my own (for instance, I’m currently in a class on the evolution of marriage from antiquity to the middle ages) will benefit me greatly in my future practice as a historian, and may affect my dissertation in surprising ways!

What are you enjoying most about your time here?

I adore just being here and being back in an academic setting.  I took 5 years off between my undergrad and did the 9-5 world for a while, and it’s refreshing to be back in academia and really challenging my brain again. And in such a beautiful place! It’s so nice to just walk around the old parts of the city.  You can practically taste the history in the air!

What are your plans for the future?

I came here with the intent to move on to a PhD after this programme and to teach at the University level, but I’ve found myself increasingly drawn towards the public history sector– museums, national trusts, things that aren’t necessarily academic settings, but which still teach history.  I think those types of jobs might be more challenging to me and might call for more thinking outside of the box to make history accessible and fun for a more diverse and less academic audience. But I haven’t thrown the PhD option out the window yet, so we will see…

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

Don’t forget to go on adventures while you’re here, whether they are delving deep into the Highlands, bussing to the Pentlands right outside town and walking for a few hours, or even just going exploring the CRC in the Main Library. It’s easy to get caught up in studying and forget to look around you, but Scotland is so beautiful and has so much to offer, even for people born here.

Don’t forget to go on adventures while you’re here, whether they are delving deep into the Highlands, bussing to the Pentlands right outside town and walking for a few hours, or even just going exploring the CRC in the Main Library. It’s easy to get caught up in studying and forget to look around you, but Scotland is so beautiful and has so much to offer, even for people born here.

Meg, Recent Graduate