Books & Study Life

KCL

Now I can say I finished my second university. Soon I will have a second BA degree, as my journey at KCL ended with the 2nd term and the final one. I shared my experience for all the terms, from year 2 – term 1 and term 2, and the year 3 – term 1.

I joined King’s College from year 2, after I graduated with merit at Oxford, with a Foundation in History (equivalent to year 1 at university). Last year at KCL I lived in London most of the time, as I had a lot of different modules, which included lectures and seminars. This year the situation was very different. I had only a thematic long seminar every other week and a long seminar weekly for my dissertation module. The last module was a long essay, which was 10,000 words, exactly like the dissertation.
For the year, my modules were: Crime & Punishment, Pandemics, and the essay on the Spanish civil war. The year was so incredibly different for many reasons.

commuting

With having to spend less time in London, I’ve decided to commute instead. My husband and I spent up to 8 days in London together, or I was just for the day, or I spent a night or two in London by myself. Depending on what I had to do, which included appointments at the archives, I spent more or less in London. It was really good to have that flexibility and it worked nicely for me.
This wouldn’t have been possible if I had lectures for my modules, as I don’t want to skip those.

working

All three modules were relying heavily on individual work. I had only a few recommendations from my tutors and I had to come up with my own bibliography and go to search in the archives my by own. That’s what is expected from year 3 students and it is really great. I loved it. Also, I had help each time I needed it.

archive

Most archives are online, which is amazing, this is how I could see items from universities as far as Australia and US, as my KCL account gave me the possibility to see their archives. I also used the Spanish archive as a member of the public, but they have a lot of freely available primary sources, so that was really helpful. Other archives were in UK and two of them were in person, the Liverpool archive and the Karl Marx Memorial Library.

Furthermore, I went to different libraries, including Wellcome Collection for medical-related items, the British Library, and the university’s libraries (there are more than 1).

This is my dissertation, which was about vaccine hesitancy relating to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the European Union. I covered 4 countries as case-studies: France, Spain, Italy, and Romania. This meant I had a lot of primary sources and secondary sources, adding up to 145 items over 12 pages. To create a perfect overview, I decided to use a mix of quantitative and qualitative data.
I translated mainly primary sources from all four languages and I enjoyed this a lot.

The long essay was a comparison of propaganda between the left and the right in the Spanish civil war. It was a fascinating topic, one I could have written much more about if I had the opportunity.
In total I wrote 34,153 words in my assignments this year. I am pleased with my work. Now I’m waiting for the results.

9 Comment

  1. I admire you so much for doing this! I am sure you will get excellent grades, but, reading from the comments, it sounds stressful waiting to find out what grades you have!

  2. Congratulations on your graduation. It’s so interesting to hear how you approached your studies and what you were studying. I will be eager to hear what you decide to do next!

    1. Thank you. Next step is a Master’s degree. There isn’t an option to get to a PhD without a Master’s. I applied and received an offer, but it is a conditional one and I need very good grades, which is stressful.

      Also, there is a marking boycott and all my teachers are doing that. I’m not sure who will mark my work and of course that is an issue, as I wrote things with the guidance of my teachers. What is marker x says that I didn’t talk about another theme a when my teacher said that it’s best to talk about the theme I talked about, for example. Will that significantly impact my grades? I have no idea. It’s a very stressful period. What’s even crazier is that I booked my place for the graduation ceremony.

        1. Thank you. I think the marking boycott is not fair for the final year students. There were strikes and I supported them, but now, with delays that affect both the ones applying for Master’s and for some jobs, as big companies demand a specific grade, it affects the most the ones that are in the top tier of graduates.

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