We always love to hear what our former students are doing. This week, former undergraduate student Micky Gibbard has been in touch to report back on his success in obtaining funding for his PhD, and offers some advice for students starting their studies at Gloucestershire
As Gloucestershire starts its new academic year minus a couple of familiar faces I will be starting my PhD in Dundee, following the recently displaced Iain Robertson north of the border. A Cheltenham local, I graduated from Gloucestershire in 2013 and immediately went up to Durham to study for an MA in Early Modern History. Despite studying elsewhere however, I have an incredible fondness for my time at Gloucestershire, the History Department and its staff who I now regard not only as my former tutors, but my friends. The History Department at Gloucestershire very much put down the foundations for my further study and the consistent help from staff both past and present has been the major contributing factor in attaining PhD funding from the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities.
The vast majority of my research to date has looked at cartography and surveying between the sixteenth and eighteenth century (on which the university library has many excellent books, if any new undergraduates are that way inclined…). My PhD will be slightly different and although incorporating the history of surveying and cartography, the main focus will be on the principles of improvement and the foundation of new planned settlements in rural Scotland throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries – something which I’m yet to comprehend and which I very much hope will change over the next three years – I will keep you updated! Some advice for the new undergraduates: continue the history society and get involved. Founded in 2013 by a small group of my friends the society went from strength to strength with many (quite liquid) historical discussions. Above all else, however, print your source sheets and forget them at your peril!