Student spotlight details
Recently retired and living in Melbourne, student Vicky Davison was looking for a new intellectual challenge when she applied to enrol on the online Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Local History, back in 2012. She then went on to complete a Master of Arts in Historical Research at Roehampton University.
'When I applied to enrol in the Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Local History (ADLH), in 2012, I had recently retired from full-time employment and was seeking a new intellectual challenge. During my recent working career in local government, I had developed a strong interest in the importance of local communities and their histories and the ways in which this influences the present.
'I also had a real interest in British social history in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and had been reading widely on the topic. I had been researching my (English) family history and had attended a research study course run by the Victorian Genealogical Society to further develop my research skills as well as my understanding of historical concepts and the methodologies used in historical research. It seemed that the best way to further develop these interests would be to undertake some formal study and I first looked at courses available at Universities in Melbourne where I live. However, there were none so I extended my search to online courses overseas.
'While I have lived in Australia since 1968 I had in recent times been coming back to England every couple of years and attended several Summer Schools in Oxford. That year it had been the OUSSA Summer School and I greatly enjoyed the course – Working Lives in 19th Century Britain - so I was especially pleased to see that Conted was offering the ADLH, which I thought would meet my needs, through distance learning.
'As I knew that (if successful) I would not commence the ADLH until the September that year I decided to gain some experience in studying online by enrolling in the short course Investigating the Victorians in the meantime. This worked out very well and was beneficial in preparing me for the more serious study later in the year.
'I really enjoyed all aspects of the ADLH. The subject matter, of course, appealed to my interests but it was the interaction with other students in the online forums and the ongoing support of our tutor that really made the difference and contributed to making one feel part of a group not just one person on their own working with online resources. It was rewarding to develop new skills such as the broader use of Excel and Access and the written work to be completed was sufficiently challenging. I was thrilled when I graduated with a Distinction.
'For a distance student it was important that the work submitted was assessed and comprehensive feedback obtained promptly which was always done. Despite my initial reservations about distance learning, I found that the way in which this course was organised really worked for me.
'After completing this course I was keen to study at a higher level and searched for a Masters course in this area of British History. Again, the only course I could find was overseas and offered online this time by Roehampton University. My ADLH results allowed me to be admitted to this course – Master of Arts in Historical Research - which I completed in 2018.
'For anyone interested in distance learning I would definitely recommend the courses offered through Conted. The main advantage is that they are designed specifically for those only able to study online and this allows for the development of a unique relationship between the students and with their tutor. My next step is to use the knowledge and skills I have gained during my studies to write a history of my ancestors – from 1750 - placed in the broader locational, social and economic parameters of the times for future family generations.'