Jess from Wrexham is studying the Masters by Research (History).
I thoroughly enjoyed my history degree at USW, especially writing my dissertation which looked at the intellectual origins of the Nazi Party’s 25 Point Programme. After graduating with first-class honours, I decided to return the following academic year to do a Masters by Research (MRes) in the History Research Unit.
During my undergraduate degree, I took a module named ‘Must Rhodes Fall?’. As part of this, we discussed the topic ‘Decolonising the University’ which inspired me to look in more detail at the issues surrounding education, especially those that are interlinked with colonial histories.
This is what I love about doing a research masters: you can focus on the exact topic that interests you the most. Studying this way also provides you with a level of independence (as there are no lectures to attend) while still having the support and guidance of your supervisors.
My research looks into how Welsh universities recognise and acknowledge their intellectual heritage in relation to colonial histories through the historical discipline. More specifically, it aims to understand key issues surrounding the under-representation of Black and Minority Ethnic academics within history departments in Wales.
Even though I am only in the early stages of my masters, I have already had the opportunity to take part in a seminar series and discuss my research with people inside and outside the University. This was extremely beneficial for my research. After the talk, people began to approach me on social media asking for more information and offering help.
Studying at USW was my first choice at undergraduate level and again at postgraduate. One of the main reasons I applied to do my masters at USW was the friendliness of the history staff. I have weekly meetings with my supervisors who always guide me in the right direction, even if it is a quick chat to check on my wellbeing. I couldn’t ask for a better supervisory team.
My experience at USW as a whole has been amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone thinking of studying history or a research masters. I have never once regretted my decision.
After completing the Masters by Research, my plan is to pursue a career in education whether that's researching or teaching within a university. I believe the MRes will provide me with the knowledge and skills to do this.