New History module prepares students for life after DMU

This academic year has seen the introduction of a new module for History students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) which gives them an insight into the wide range of careers that are available to them after they graduate.


The new history module started in October and the idea behind it was to give students the opportunity to do history-related placements, where they would gain practical experience and get an idea of the variety of careers open to students who study History.

The students organise the placements themselves with help from the faculty work-based learning teams and DMU Square Mile.

One student on the module, Christian Pandit, is working at the town hall as an Arts and Museum Volunteer within the Photographic Archive as part of the new module.

Christian said: “I started here in January as part of one of my modules, History in the Workplace, which is all about putting an emphasis on future employability after graduation.

“I also do a module about photographic history as well as being really interested in photography anyway, so as I had to find a placement myself this just really seemed to tie all of that together.

“My role here as one of a number of volunteers is to go through the photography archive, scan them, and put them into a massive database where anybody who needs access to them can use them.”

Christian and the other volunteers have a huge task on their hands with over 500,000 photographs to sort through, some of which date back to the 1930s.

He added: “There’s loads of really interesting photographs here, there’s a lot from De Montfort Hall and all the shows that have been there going back over 50 years, and there’s also lots of the city of Leicester in general and it’s amazing to see how much it has changed just over the last 15 years.

“This will be really good experience to add to my CV, I’m getting experience of working in an office and it’s just generally broadening my knowledge of an area that I’m really interested in.”

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Catherine Hallsworth, Volunteer Coordinator for the Arts & Museums Service within Leicester City Council, said: “Christian has been sorting materials from the archive and analysing them which helps us to decide if they should be placed on to the council’s database.

“He’s been scanning images and labelling them correctly so they can be found easily from any computer accessing the database and checking that the database is correctly put together and the images you are looking for are all accessible.

“As a Photographic Archive volunteer, Christian working alongside volunteers from across the city is doing a very important job as it is bringing a vast and exciting resource on the history and development of Leicester back into use so it can be shared with the people of Leicester through formal exhibitions, online showcases and via social media.”

Dr Dave Dee, a Modern History lecturer at DMU, is delighted with how the module has been received by the students during its inaugural year.
He said: "Skills learned on a history degree apply to so many career paths, research, evaluation, presentations and critical thinking. This module is opening students' eyes to different options. It's very encouraging to see how well they have done."

Posted on Wednesday 18th March 2015

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