History - Why Choose History?

The most important reason to choose History is because you enjoy the subject, you find it fun and interesting and it is something that you want to do. But if you are in doubt and want some more guidance here are some other reasons to consider for taking this noble subject:

Does History have any value in the ‘real world'/What can History do for me?

The skills taught in history are very useful in the world of work, in study of any other subject at any level and in life!

These skills are as follows:

  • Researching information on a given task.
  • Analysing information and rating its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Weighing up information carefully before coming to a considered conclusion.
  • The ability to use a broader thinking approach that considers all sides of an issue.
  • Writing formally, clearly, without straying off topic - crucial for any document produced for the workplace.
  • Understanding why people acted the way they did - helpful for an insight into present day, real life situations.
  • Presenting a case orally and having that case challenged - crucial for any university or job interview.

Also, in a rapidly changing world in which we have no idea what the future looks like universities and employers are wanting people who are:

  • Independent learners
  • Independent thinkers
  • Open minded
  • Disciplined
  • Problem solvers
  • Can pick out the essential from the trivial

Studying History is one of the best ways to produce such people!

What will I do studying History?

You might think that studying history is about learning lots of dates and names, or writing essays, but this is not a true picture and the variety of things we do might surprise you:

  • You'll find yourself role-playing many historical characters and situations.
  • You'll find yourself putting on some outrageous accents.
  • You'll be debating and arguing why things happened, where the turning points came and whether situations could have played out differently.
  • You'll find yourself getting passionately involved and constructing reasoned arguments both spoken and written on numerous topics.
  • You'll find yourself amazed by the actions of some of History's most controversial characters, Stalin, Rasputin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Chamberlain.
  • You'll find yourself having fun and enjoying the course!

What jobs/ courses can studying History get me?

History is a multi-skilled subject that has many transferable skills useful for any job in the future. Any job requiring research and analysis to generate an informed judgement (which constitutes all the top jobs you can think of) can benefit from the study of history.

But there are some jobs that studying history is extremely helpful for:

Any career in Law or Politics

To prove the point here are some famous history students who reached the top of this field:

  • Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister - has PhD in history from the University of Edinburgh
  • Mike Mansfield QC, a top British barrister - studied history at Keele University
  • Lord (Chris) Patten, former governor of Hong Kong and now Chancellor of Oxford University - studied history at Oxford

Journalism and Writing

To prove the point here are some famous history students who reached the top of this field:

  • Melvyn Bragg, former presenter of the South Bank Show - studied history at Oxford
  • Jeremy Warner, assistant editor of the Daily Telegraph - studied history at UCL
  • Michael White, assistant editor of the Guardian - studied history at UCL

Business

To prove the point here are some famous history students who have reached the top of this field:

  • Howard Stringer chairman, president, CEO of the Sony Corporation - studied history at Oxford
  • Anita Roddick, founder of the Body shop - studied history at Bath University
  • John Silvester Varley, former Chief Executive of Barclays - has a Masters in history from Oxford

Entertainment

To prove the point here are some famous history students who have reached the top of this field:

  • Michael Palin, Monty Python star and BBC celebrity - studied history at Oxford
  • Conan O' Brien, star of the Conan O' Brien show and former writer and producer of the Simpsons - studied history at Harvard
  • Sting was a former History teacher!
  • Sacha Baron Cohen, creator of Ali G, Borat and Bruno - studied history at Oxford

The History Trip

Every year the History Department takes 40 history students from Years 10-13 to explore, discover and celebrate the history of different areas of the world.

Previous History Trips have visiting the following locations:

  • 2008- Berlin and Prague
  • 2009- London, Ypres and the Somme
  • 2010- Berlin, Wroclaw and Krakow
  • 2011- Moscow and St Petersburg
  • In the 2011-2012 Academic Year we will be visiting Washington DC and New York!

The only way to be eligible for a place on the History Trip is to choose history at IGCSE or A-Level.

Final thoughts - is history for me?

  • Are you inquisitive and do you like to discover why things happen?
  • Are you prepared to investigate and find things out for yourself?
  • Do you like to form your own opinions and do you often debate with your friends about things?
  • Will you stand up for your opinions if you have enough evidence to back them up?
  • Are you prepared to challenge yourself to work hard, progress into an independent learner and earn a top grade in a top subject?
  • Would you like to be included in a fantastic educational opportunity to see some of the vibrant history the world has to offer, with 39 other students, and go on the History Trip?
  • Do you like to get involved and have fun?

If the answer to these questions is YES then you should indeed CHOOSE HISTORY!