My Master's has helped me flourish personally and academically

Student spotlight | Tom Nightingale-Smith, MA Social History


Tom Nightingale-Smith

Tom is an MA Social History student at Leeds Beckett University. He shares with us what he likes about studying a masters within The School of Cultural Studies and Humanities and why he chose the history course. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to the course?

Since primary school, I've always had a passion for history, which has often influenced where I explore and travel. I studied the BA (Hons) History course also at Leeds Beckett, which influenced my decision to continue onto a postgraduate course at university.

I thought my undergraduate degree was brilliant and it fulfilled all my expectations. The lecturers are really encouraging, and they have an evident passion for their areas of expertise which has been incredibly inspiring. I knew the MA Social History course would help me grow academically with new challenges and allow me to engage with individual research. I've never once regretted my decision to stay at Leeds Beckett. The university and the course have allowed me to thrive and continually challenge myself, allowing me to grow in a way I didn't expect.

How have you found the course so far and was it what you'd expected? 

I've found the course intellectually stimulating and it's been a significant step up from undergraduate level, whilst allowing me to put my academic skills to the test and fulfil my burning passion for history. It's very refreshing to be part of a course where the lecturers' passion for Social History is so apparent, which is really inspiring and has often led to some fascinating discussions in our sessions. Some of the assessments can be daunting. However, the course has challenged us with some really creative and quirky assessments to complete, which is refreshing! 

I never knew what to expect from a postgraduate degree, but I always thought that I'd feel out of my depth with it being the next step up in education. However, I've not once felt that with this course and since day one I've always felt comfortable. 

What has been your favourite thing about your time studying at Leeds Beckett? 

My favourite thing about my time studying at Leeds Beckett has been the interactions and connections made with the lecturers and other students on the course. As someone who thrives on interacting and communicating with others, I've really enjoyed the opportunity to interact with people from various walks of life. I think communication is key in any environment and beneficial for academic and personal growth and studying at Leeds Beckett provides that opportunity.

What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course?

The advice I'd give anyone thinking about studying the MA Social History course is to first and foremost think about why you're considering taking the course. I knew that history was, and remains, something that I'm passionate about and something that I was prepared to put maximum effort into. If you have a burning passion for history like me, if you're prepared and ready for a challenge, if you want to develop your skills and enhance your knowledge, then you should definitely study MA Social History. Of course, there's more practical advice like being good with your time management, being prepared to individually research, work and communicate with fellow students and write effectively. But, if your passionate for history and you're prepared to commit to a really engaging course then an MA in Social History is right for you!

What will your story be?

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BA (Hons)


Two women reading history artefacts

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