There are lots of reasons to study history at university: maybe you believe understanding history can help us avoid repeating old mistakes...
...or perhaps you’ve been gripped by stories of Rosa Parks, Ibn Battuta or Vlad the Impaler...
History can take you interesting places - just ask Gordon Brown, the former British Prime Minister; Body Shop founder Anita Roddick or documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux - they all did history at university.
This is a handy guide laying out four steps to maximise your chances of getting on a great history programme.
1) Get some good qualifications
Universities usually have a few fundamental requirements for History applicants:
2) Find some great courses
Thoroughly research the courses you’re applying for.
You can use Unifrog to find a range of courses that suit you, and then narrow them down to your top five using the UCAS tool.
Find out about different possibilities so you can make well informed course choices that give you the skills you’ll need.
3) Stand out!
When you make your application you also want to distinguish yourself from all the other applicants. Here are some tips:
Practice trying to spot areas of disagreement between writers as well as picking up on the facts.
Reading history journals or academic books is excellent but following the news, or even reading historical novels helps you seem interested and well informed.
At university you will produce bigger pieces of work, such as your thesis. This is great preparation.
Experimenting with a variety of MOOCs could give you a chance to explore the particular areas of history you find enjoyable.
Look into spending time with a law practice, a newspaper, a marketing agency, an archaeological dig or a museum for starters.
Interactive ways of learning about history (Game of Thrones doesn’t count) can bring a historical period or issue alive for you.
Hobbies that show skills like teamwork, resilience and time management are important. In your personal statement, be explicit about how your wider interests have given you skills relevant to your studies.
Activities that can be clearly linked to history are great. e.g. Have you been involved in writing an article for the high school newspaper, or taken part in a school debate?
4) Write a great Personal Statement
After all this work, do yourself justice in your personal statement. Unifrog helps you structure your personal statement with the right amount of emphasis on different sections.
If you’ve been recording your competencies on Unifrog it should be relatively easy to transfer them across to your statement.
For example, if you are writing about “team-working”, using an example of a time when you've worked with others to produce a project or prepare a debate, might be more appropriate than talking about your experiences in a football or swimming team.
Go forth and prosper!
Hopefully, you’ll now be feeling more confident about getting on a great history course at university.
Beyond the basic requirements for each course, what universities really want is applicants who love the subject, will work hard and have the ability to do well.
The challenge for you is to demonstrate you’re the right kind of applicant!
If you’re not sure history is your thing out for other guides that we’ll be publishing in the next few weeks guide you through the process of getting into different kinds of degree. All this information and much more will soon be available in the Unifrog ‘Goals’ tool.