Alumni Stories: Abigail Sparkes


This series of posts looks at what our former students do after they graduate in History at the University of Gloucestershire. It demonstrates the various types of employment and further study they can go into. It provides useful guides for existing students, but also highlights the fascinating journeys of our graduates. The next story comes from Abigail Sparkes (Class of 2017).

After graduating from the University of Gloucestershire in 2017, I applied for a MA in early modern history at the University of Birmingham. The modules that I had studied at Gloucestershire, both based on this period and on others, provided me with a great foundation for this course as I improved on skills and knowledge that I had already acquired in my BA. My dissertation was based on fairy belief in the seventeenth century, a topic that I had covered with Erin (Peters) in my second year. From this project, I also wrote an article which was published in History Today in December 2018, so I am very thankful that I chose this module during my time as an undergraduate!

As my MA course finished in September, I applied for the 2019 cohort of Teach First. This is a charity that aims to eradicate inequality within schools so that every child, regardless of their social or economic situation, receives a high standard of education. The programme begins in June, where you are trained for five weeks, before being placed in a local school to start teaching in September. Unlike many other routes into teaching, this programme enables you to ‘learn on the job’ and you gain your teaching qualification predominately through practical experience. If anyone is interested in Teach First, I would definitely recommend applying as soon as possible (applications open in mid-September for the following year), as the Humanities subjects tend to fill up fast!

In the meantime, I have recently moved to London where I am interning as a research genealogist for a probate research company (commonly known as ‘Heir Hunters’). This is a really interesting and diverse role which requires me to use the skills that I acquired as an undergraduate almost every day. I had the best time studying history at Gloucestershire and I am very grateful for the opportunities my degree has created for me!

If you are an Alumni in History and you would like to contribute, please contact Christian O’Connell coconnell@glos.ac.uk

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