UCL History speaks to finalist Nasim Ahmed about his time at UCL History & his plans for the future

3 July 2020

At this time of the year, UCL History final year students will inevitably be looking to the future. whilst also reflecting on their time with us. We spoke to UCL History finalist Nasim Ahmed about his time in the department.

nasim ahmed

Congratulations on recently completing your degree at UCL History! Looking back, what do you think has been your favourite thing about studying here? 

My favourite thing about studying at UCL History has to be the wide variety of modules on offer. There really is diversity and choice at UCL, with a module for probably all of your historical interests. Personally, I have had a strong U.S. historical theme running throughout my degree, but I have also explored new areas such as interwar Central Europe. I also studied the Global Economy, which was outside of my comfort zone. However, that module turned out to be my favourite module throughout my three years at UCL History. In sum, my favourite thing about studying at UCL has to be the diversity, choice and scope of the modules! 

We will be welcoming a whole new cohort of students in September – what advice would you give to them? 

My number one piece of advice would be to make use of the resources and assistance at hand at UCL. There are brilliant resources in the libraries on campus. If you are not sure about a topic, or just want to read around, the chances are there are books in the library that can help. Also, make use of the resources on Moodle. If there are readings on your module page, the chances are that they will only help you in your studies. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask your tutors and professors for guidance! Make use of your seminars, office hour opportunities, and other methods such as emailing. A combination of these resources, will definitely improve your experience at UCL, and make it a more pleasant and enjoyable journey.

Why do you think it is so important that we study history? 

Personally, I think there are many reasons why studying history is important, and there is no one reason that is the most important. I believe that history provides you with the arsenal required to tackle the tough questions in our society. An understanding of the past, and why things happened the way they did, may help one understand/conceptualise our current problems/big questions in society. At the same time, I also think studying history is important because you can really dig into the detail! The journal entries, the artefacts, the travel writings etc. all provide insight into the little details, that may be lost otherwise. 

Looking ahead, what are your plans for the future? 

My immediate plan for the future is beginning my teacher training programme. I will be continuing my studies at the UCL Institute of Education (IoE), and training in a school in East London through Teach First. I hope to apply some of the historical knowledge and methods that I have learnt at UCL History to the classroom. I want to inspire the next generation of historical students. Ultimately, I want to return to academia, and work on my two great interests – history and education. The beauty of studying history at UCL History, is that my opportunities are limitless. At the end of my undergraduate degree, I could have pursued a career in finance, pursued legal training, or even continued my studies at postgraduate level at UCL History. For now, I will be heading back to the classroom.