Research degree has given me enhanced knowledge and prospects

Jake McDonald from Cardiff achieved his MA by Research (History) degree in December 2019.

Jake McDonald from Cardiff achieved his MA by Research degree in December 2019.

"I feel extremely fortunate to have worked with some really fantastic History tutors at USW.

"I did my History degree here and had a great rapport with my lecturers so jumped at the opportunity of working with them again on a Masters by Research (History).

"I worked full-time throughout my postgraduate studies, so I had to remain strict with my research and writing patterns. With only two days off a week, I had to make the most of what time I had and would often work late into the night. But it was definitely worth it.

"The job market, particularly the cultural heritage sector, has become increasingly competitive in Wales and having a research degree will set me apart from the competition.

"Among other things, I think that having a research degree shows that you are motivated to work independently, conduct your own research and reach conclusions.

About my thesis

"My thesis was about the market for medical retailing in Victorian Cardiff.

"The research discussed the use (and sometimes abuse) of over-the-counter medicines and pays attention to the people who bought them, and the people who sold them. The research also paid attention to medical advertising in the newspaper press and studied the various advertisements that were adopted by drug proprietors. 

"I feel grateful that I was able to take on a topic that I am passionate about. I have long been interested in medical history - particularly on the history of alternative medicine and quackery. I can remember reading the works of Roy Porter as an undergraduate and thinking about how cool it would be to write something of my own on the topic!

"I thoroughly enjoyed studying at USW. I am most grateful for all the support and guidance I received throughout the years.

"I’m looking forward to returning to my job within the museums and cultural heritage sector with enhanced knowledge and prospects."