From education to employment

Students explore history and gateways to the future

From uncovering the Cathedral’s stories to inspiring the next generation of historians, University of Chester students have been supporting organisations across the city and gaining invaluable work experience.

As part of a second-year module, undergraduate History students have contributed to the work and activities of partners with placements and experiences in Chester. This month they shared and gained skills – producing teaching resources, leading sessions in the classroom, creating a museum exhibition, preparing a digital archive catalogue, and researching and recording historic Cathedral monuments.

The module ‘History at Work: Pathways to Your Future’ encourages students to consider the ways in which History is employed in a range of professional contexts – schools, museums, archives, visitor attractions and places of worship – and provides them with real-world experience of applying what they have learned.

Through the module, students can choose a pathway that relates to their career interests.

Students on the teaching pathway delivered object handling sessions, using medieval artefacts from the Grosvenor Museum, to three classes of year seven History students at The Catholic High School, Chester, and to a class of year 11 History students at Chester International School.

Liz Montgomery, Senior Curator at the Grosvenor Museum, helped some of the students on the heritage pathway to research Museum objects acquired as part of the Treasure process, to create an exhibition which can be viewed in the Museum entrance hall, and deliver a free public Object of the Month talk, earlier in March. The Treasure process involves public finds of precious metal objects being reported, valued, and presented for purchase by museums.

Under the expert direction of Branca Pinto da Cruz at Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, other students on the heritage pathway prepared for a new digital archive catalogue by cross-checking and digitising card indexes.

Briefed by Emily Lanigan-Palotai, Collections and Marketing Engagement Officer at Chester Cathedral, more students on the heritage pathway set to work photographing, recording, and researching the monuments embedded in the Cathedral fabric.

Dr Katherine Wilson, Associate Professor of Later Medieval European History and Module Tutor said:

“It has been fantastic to be able to work with such wonderful partners and see the students using their historical skills and working to an extremely high standard in such a range of real-world contexts.”

Dr Thomas Pickles, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History and Module Tutor added:

“Chester offers a rich and unique historic environment to study and work in, and with these experiences, students have really enjoyed, and been inspired by supporting and developing a variety of activities across the city to uncover, educate about, and preserve its past.

“Thank you to everyone at The Catholic High, Chester International School, the Grosvenor Museum, Cheshire Archives and Local Studies and Chester Cathedral who provided the placements and gave our students the opportunity to put their History learning into practice, and further develop their skills and career ambitions.”

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