Each year our Department awards prizes to students who excel in their subject. This year third-year Edwin Rose was awarded the Glanmor Williams prize in History. He reflects on his study of History in our Department:
I have just graduated from my undergraduate degree in Single Honours History, for which I received a first class award and the Glanmor Williams prize for achieving a mark of 77%, the highest overall mark in History for 2015. In the autumn, I will be undertaking an MPhil. in the History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science, Medicine and Technology at the University of Cambridge.
From a young age, I have been fascinated by old things and the study of the past, something which has inspired my interest in not only history, but also the sciences, in particular, natural history and geology. My main interests are in the study of early modern natural history and natural philosophy. I have studied history throughout my education and my fascination with the subject has meant that I have continually achieved high marks. Studying History at Swansea has given me a unique opportunity to engage with both of these interests by studying modules in the history of science, such as From Athens to Los Alamos: Science in the Ancient and Modern Worlds. This module was really enjoyable and gave a great overview of the study of the natural world from ancient civilisations to the modern age. This module combined with my longstanding interests in both history and science inspired my dissertation topic, concerning the works of a little known eighteenth-century naturalist, Richard Brookes (c.1763).
For the second semester of my second year, I participated in a student exchange programme, which involved me spending 5 months at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. This was a particularly rewarding experience which gave me a great introduction to Asian history and culture. My time in Hong Kong gave me the opportunity to study a number of subjects which are not regularly covered in the UK, such as China through the Eyes of the West and Modern Islamic Societies. Naturally, I initially found the change in environment and teaching methods to be somewhat challenging, although my interests in history helped me continue to achieve high grades when I was abroad.
My personal interest in history has made all elements of my degree very enjoyable had has helped me to achieve good grades and the Glanmor Williams prize. My passion for history has allowed me to really engage with the subject and has given me the motivation to put additional effort into my assignments, particularly when researching my dissertation, when I visited a number of different archives and libraries which helped me achieve an acceptingly high mark for this piece of work. I hope to continue my interest and enthusiasm for the history of science by studying my postgraduate degree at Cambridge.
Written by Edwin Rose