James Bartle, MA History graduate

After graduating from Plymouth in 2015 with a BA degree History I decided to give myself a break from education. I worked in retail for a year, however I really wanted to build on the skills I had developed as an undergraduate. Studying a MA was a perfect choice. Not only did it provide me with the opportunity to improve as a historian, it was also flexible to my needs. When I initially began the course I found the work load difficult to manage (I was still working in retail). My lecturers understood completely and I was soon enrolled as a part time student. This meant that I could continue to work alongside my degree.

As well as providing a flexible learning structure, the MA also provided me the opportunity to study subjects that I was interested in. I learnt about the origins of the civil rights movement and the role of lesser known activists such as Ella Baker. I was also given the confidence to develop my own ideas. Through the encouragement of my tutor Harry Bennett I was able to turn a research trip to The National Archives into a dissertation about Devonport Dockyard in World War Two. This support also enabled me to grow as a person. In December 2017 I was given the opportunity to study at the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies in the Netherlands. This was the first time that I had travelled abroad by myself and will be an experience I will never forget. 

Overall, the MA has the whole package. The university offers excellent facilities, with a twenty-four hour library and access to many online archives. Together with a diverse range of taught modules, such as Piracy and Japanese history, they make Plymouth a brilliant place to study history.