Books & Study Life

KCL – 2nd term

It seems a bit strange to blog about the 2nd term at King’s when I already started, in a way, year 3, but more about that at the end of the post. This will be a quick post, as I already mentioned a lot of things regarding year 2 at King’s College in my first post. As in the first term, I had 4 modules, of which 2 were the same as in the first term.


KCL. Weekly schedule:

Unlike in the first term, we had in person lectures, so I had to go more often to campus. One lecture was put at 9am on Monday mornings and with me commuting to Liverpool, I saw the lecture online, streamed live every other week. The teacher was very understanding, so there were no issues.

The workload was similar to the one in the first term.


KCL. Modules & Assignments:

I had 2 year modules, which continued from the first term, the Middle East and the Industrial Revolution ones. The assignments were similar, with a presentation for one of the modules and, of course, lots of essays. I also had 2 exams for the yearly modules. I am still waiting for the results for those, it will take a while.

Besides that I had the Memory one, which was similar to the one in the first term, but with a new seminar tutor. The approach was a bit different too, with some specific topics, ranging from the killings in South America to the Algerian war.

The last module was on Religious minorities in the Middle Ages in Europe. I picked that module because I was fascinated by the topic of a book published by the teacher, which I read and enjoyed a lot, and also because I wanted to have as much diversity in my modules as possible. I achieved that, as I studied different periods, different continents, and, of course, the Economy one, which deals with quantitative data.

In the picture above is a pod in one of the cafes from KCL. It is soundproof and I used it once for an seminar which was online.

Online seminar

Here I’m doing another online seminar, from the same cafe, but in the open area. It was very early in the morning, at 9, so there weren’t many people around.


KCL. Challenges:

This term I had two challenges. Firstly, the Economic history module was getting more and more into economic stuff and I had to grapple with things like monetary systems, banks, gold standard, and so on. For the exam I prepared data such as per capita consumption, real wage indexes, crop acreages, coal output, exports and imports, and interest rates.

This book by Eichengreen was great and I could also read it while having a coffee outside, in a park, so I can’t complain at all.


The second challenge came, as the first one, by choice. I picked the Algerian war for an essay. So, I read some articles in French, both primary and secondary sources, but also I read about half of this book. It was easier for me to read in French than I though, especially as I haven’t practised my French for a while. Pierre Nora is a must-read historian, with interesting and fascinating ideas worth exploring.
Overall the topic was interesting and I enjoyed reading in French.


KCL. Cake and Roots, the 100% vegan cafe:

Above is a slice of chocolate cake at Roots, the 100% vegan cafe at KCL. It’s a wonderful place, with a gorgeous view, see below. It’s a very popular place, obviously.

View from King's

View from King's

Now, I mentioned that I started year 3. I already had a meeting with my supervisor for the dissertation. He gave me a few points to think about. I am doing a 10k words dissertation and also a long essay of 10k words with another supervisor (instead of 1 big module or 2 smaller ones). So, it will be quite an interesting year.

The long essay will be on Spanish Civil War, so I will return to Spanish readings. I already bought 2 books in Spanish and I have a long list of articles to read too. As I knew what I wanted to do and I have the approval of my supervisor, I started looking for sources.

The dissertation will be on a medical or policy subject, as the topic of the module is Pandemics. I am very excited about that it. There are so many options it will be hard to decide on one of them.

5 Comment

  1. The pods are interesting. I love hearing how the college operates — it strikes me as very different from our graduate level courses here at Michigan State, at least the masters’ level, which is largely class time. And courses you are taking are so interesting but seem to cover a lot of different areas versus concentration. I might be reading that wrong, but I find it so intriguing!

    1. Here history is mainly off campus, for most universities if not all. I’m at undergraduate level, as this is my 2nd BA degree. In year 3 it will be different too, much more detailed topics to cover.
      When I go to a Masters’ it will be different, more detailed and less broad topics, which will be, hopefully, next year.

  2. As always, I’m quite impressed with what you’re doing. Not everyone has that kind of drive and tenacity.

    I still think it’s great that the school has a 100% vegan cafe on campus. That cake looks delicious!
    Kelly recently posted…A puzzle and the SpinMy Profile

    1. Thank you xx.
      I like that KCL is so inclusive and involved in taking direct actions regarding climate change. I got an email about an event at KCL for a day in which it was offered a vegan lunch too, 100% vegan. How amazing is that. The university is very inclusive in other regards too, which is amazing.

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