Posted 24 August 2011 - 11:58 PM
I have studied History at university and I have an undergraduate degree. Since qualifying I moved to Australia and I'm currently looking at studying for a taught Masters degree over here where I'm hoping to study the philosophy of History. In its simplest form this will be asking the seemingly obvious question of 'what is History' although this is actually a highly contentious debate! I'm also interested in how History is presented to the public and how the subject has been used and abused over the years to meet political ends. Before I get on to such lofty topics though, I need to get taught training in how to research at graduate level and receive introductions to various historiographical debates. I'm also looking to complete teacher training before embarking on this degree part time, which will take a while as I have to get my permanent residency in Australia before I can afford it!
One area of History that you might find interesting with your choices at A-Level and which involves both Ancient and Modern (including Classics) is the History of Ideas. I'm not sure how much of this is covered in British schools but it is normally offered at most British universities. It's a useful bridging subject that demonstrates that the differences between the approach to 'humanities' and 'sciences' really aren't that big.
Actually, the categorisation of subjects under these headings can largely be ascribed to the eighteenth century and is ridden with class bias. At that time the 'humane' subjects such as philosophy and history were considered the more complex and therefore considered appropriate for the upper classes. The technical subject of science, prior to its boom of knowledge in the nineteenth century, was considered appropriate for those who would serve them. Charles Darwin actually studied divinity before becoming a scientist, proving his worth in the humanities before persuing his interests! The industrial revolution and the growth of a distinct middle class turned all of this on its head, as new money replaced old.
Arguably today, some scientists can be sniffy about the humanities because they don't appreciate their worth in the workplace; however, they clearly ignore employers who say the skills lacking from candidates today tend to be good writing skills and the ability to present a coherent argument....