Anca Marin

Student spotlight details

Anca found the part-time structure of the Certificate in History perfect for easing her back into studying and is now embarking on a full-time master's degree at Oxford University. The certificate course enabled her to realise the difference between 'the history I like to read for pleasure and the history I like to research'.

'After an almost 20-year gap since I was awarded a degree in psychology, I have decided to return to university to study history, and enrolled on to the part-time Undergraduate Certificate in History. During this interim period, my passion for history evolved and I was lucky to be able to volunteer at a local stately home. This meant doing guided tours of Croxteth Hall and getting involved in historical re-enactment. As volunteers, we had the freedom to create our own characters and thus reading social history was vital to help create more accurate personas for the people I embodied: a maid, the Housekeeper, and Lady Sefton.

'The Certificate in History helped me (re)develop my academic skills. As a gradual move from work and volunteering to full-time study, it was the perfect transition. During this period at Oxford I have discovered that, while Tudor and Early Modern History are still fascinating, I am more drawn towards modern European history. For instance, I enjoyed immensely the module on the Spanish Civil War with the Course Director Professor Tom Buchanan. I continued on this academic path by accepting an offer at King’s College London, starting in year 2. In my final year at KCL I did two dissertations, one of which was a comparative analysis of far-right and far-left propaganda during the Spanish Civil War, being eager to study this subject once more.

'After graduating with a First Class Honours from King’s College London, I am returning to Oxford to study for an MSt in Modern European History. The dissertation topic I decided upon is Holodomor, the Soviet man-made famine which amounted to the genocide of Ukrainians in the early 1930s, as it was seen by journalists and the English intelligentsia. I am looking forward to this next challenge.

'I knew I enjoyed reading history, but joining the Department helped me discover what period and location in history I am truly passionate about. The course offers a wide variety of modules, thus helping students to develop their interests through research projects. I realised there is a significant difference between the history I like to read for pleasure and the history I like to research.

'My advice for those considering the Certificate in History is to do it. The part-time structure of the course offers the opportunity to gradually move back to full-time study, which can be an issue if there is a long gap, as it was in my case. Some might consider this course enough, while others will know they want to go further in their academic journeys. The modules included are very well structured and varied, thus they give the students the chance to discover what they are interested in, from an academic perspective.'

Learn more: