Teaching and learning

Student experience

Why study history? What's the best way to learn? How do History students choose to become history students? Current students and recent graduates share their insights.

Studying history provides a sense of humanity that no other subject provides. Learning about human reality in a wide range of circumstances provides a good foundation for any other subject.

Stephanie Hartmann, History MA Candidate

Learning history allows for a much better understanding of society and culture, along with many other aspects of our world. History is the only subject that gives a student an understanding of every part of the world and the human past.

Mike Soares, 3A Honours History

There is something about reading the thoughts, words, and reflections of individuals’ experience in history as it happened that brings things into perspective. In my experience no textbook can personalize history or make it as interesting and “real” as the words and points of view of the people who lived it. I learn more than just dates, names, and events from history. I learn to be a critical thinker and analyse all perspectives of a situation possible.

Corah Lynn Hodgson, 4A Joint Honours History and Sociology

History is one of those subjects that fits into all the others. History is everywhere! Studying history forces you consider other perspectives. In history, all opinions from all different sorts of people are important. This contributes to interactions in everyday life. Everyone has a story and it is always different from yours. Learning to understand someone’s story is a very special gift and that can be learned through the study of History.

Ally Vonk, 3B Honours History

I learned from history that events are not the result of singular decisions made by great leaders, but rather arise from a myriad of complex factors. Once you realize that fact, your whole worldview changes.

Van Szepesi, History MA Candidate, BA (Hons) '15

I learn history by crushing up my worldview and putting it under a microscope. What helps me learn history is empathy for human lives, and, also, the intellectual understanding that I may never fully understand the multiplicity of human experience.

Emma Sullivan, 3B Joint Honours, History and Anthropology

Coming into university I never would have imagined I was going to end up studying history. But what I connected most with history at university was how many other skills it helped me learn and develop. The critical thinking aspect of history taught me to analyse and make useful connections. Also the ability to articulate my findings in concise ways is also a life skill. I have found I learn history best through sharing it with others.

Lisa Romanick, 4A Honours History

With my business degree, I learned facts. With my history degree, I learned skills.

Rachel Wyatt, BA Joint Honours History and Arts & Business, '15

Travelling helped me learn history. Most recently I studied at the University of Dundee in Scotland, on an exchange, and I expanded my interest in the discipline. I travelled so much when I was there and saw so much of the world and history that I’ve dreamed about for so long.

Public history in particular has helped me to distinguish between the biases of all history accounts. These courses I find are most useful in the 'real world' because I have been given the flexibility to produce a report on a subject I am passionate about. What is most important in the history field is continual community engagement.

Brooklyn Luschak, 4B History