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Tom - Santander University Scholarship recipient

Name: Tom Dixon (BA Hons.)

Course: MA History

Scholarship: Santander University Scholarship

What was it about Northumbria University that made you want to study here?

My roots are firmly in the North East of England, and having lived in London since I was very young I fancied a change of scenery to somewhere I happened to be intimately familiar with. The North East contains all the culture and heritage you might want (as well as, admittedly, my two favourite sports teams).

Did you face any barriers to Higher Education, or was there anything that made you doubt your decision to come to university?

The only barriers to Higher Education were the ones I made myself. I had a terrible time at A-Level for all sorts of reasons and by the end of AS year I was seriously considering if I had what it took to go to university. Suffice to say, this terrible time continued, and all my A-Levels were a relative catastrophe. On results day I consigned myself nothing special whatsoever having been rejected by all my choices. I ended up getting into Northumbria University through clearing on a Humanities Foundation Year and the rest is history (literally). I am eternally grateful to Northumbria for taking a chance on me and it’s testament to their incredible facilities and staff that I graduated from undergraduate level with a First Class degree.

What do you like about studying at Northumbria?

It's fantastic. I love it all to be honest. But in a sadistic sort of way, I enjoy my dissertation work the most. Getting loads of allocated time to work on the areas of history I love the most is great fun. Even the reading (which there is loads of) is engaging once you get to grips with it. I've made use of many of the facilities in my six (!!!) years here. As a historian I am of the firm belief that there is no better feeling than walking out of the library as the sun comes up having been there all night engaging in many historical things. I am also a recent acolyte of the gym which has been immense.

Are you in any societies/sports societies/clubs?

I served as Treasurer of the Historical Society for two years which was a brilliant experience getting to know staff and students of all years.

How were you awarded the scholarship?

I applied for the Santander scholarship, by writing a brief personal/descriptive statement, and I was informed I’d been successful just before the start of term.

What benefits has the scholarship provided?

The most tangible benefit has obviously been monetary. The funds granted have improved my capacity for historical research considerably through things like visits to archives much further afield and subscriptions to exclusive collections. Naturally this has improved the quality of my work no end which is beneficial to everyone.

If you could give advice to somebody considering university, what would it be?

Don't consider it. Just go. (well I mean obviously consider it a bit just don’t think too much) I admit I was sceptical at first, but the subsequent years have been probably the best of my life. Academic enrichment is really the tip of the iceberg. The friends I have made and the experiences I have had have been incredible and I shall cherish them for life.


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