Coming to London from rural Yorkshire (think Wuthering Heights) could be perceived as being as big a step as coming over to Britain to study for an undergraduate degree. However, I would definitely say it’s worth the effort as London is a fantastic city and UCL is a fantastic university.
My experience of studying History at university has involved hours of lectures and seminars, whole days in the library, whole nights of ‘social life’, dozens of friendships, and thousands of words of writing – and it’s not even finished yet. So, for that reason, having been asked to write a little bit about my experience of History at UCL I really don’t know where to start.
I am a third year student, studying for a BA in Ancient History with Egyptology. My degree is a joint between the Departments of History and Archaeology, meaning that I get to study the past both from the physical remains and from the written evidence. I really enjoy this combined approach; it brings the past alive and has given me a new perspective on the usages and limitations of both types of sources. It also means I have more varied courses and assignments; archaeology courses usually involve several trips to museums and tend to be examined primarily by coursework, and, as well as writing essays, we have to produce reviews of museum displays and interpretations of artefacts, whereas my history courses involve a mixture of essay writing and exams.
I applied to the V100 History program at University College London in March 2006. As a dual national (US/UK) I seriously considered attending college in the States, which my parents had done, however, I ultimately chose to stay in London as the tuition fees are much cheaper so where better than UCL which consistently makes the top 5 in national and international rankings of the best universities.
A History Degree at UCL would suit high-achieving students who already know that they want to concentrate on History and feel that the broad distribution requirements normal at US universities and colleges do not fit their personal intellectual profile (just as the heavy advanced specialisation of the English system does fit students who are primarily all-rounders).