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Year 11 History Mentorship Programme

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The College is excited to offer a six-week mentorship programme to year 11 students. 

Participants in the History Mentorship Programme will gain first-hand experience of what it’s like to be a historian and the career paths a degree in history can lead to. Students will work in teams to research a historical topic related to the local area of NCH’s London Campus at St Katharine Docks, such as: forced and free migration, wartime destruction and regeneration, the environmental impacts of luxury goods, and popular protest. Students will learn how each topic relates to present-day problems and discover how history is vital to understanding the world in which we live. 

The programme will also offer students the chance to learn about the kinds of careers open to history graduates, as well as the unique opportunity to meet with, and talk to, two fascinating guest speakers. In Week 3, Historian and Archivist Dr. Daniella Gonzalez (UK Parliament Archives) will discuss her career and what it is like to work in the official repository for records pertaining to the Houses of Parliament. Then, in Week 5, Medieval and Public Historian Dr. Laura Tompkins (Historic Royal Palaces) will discuss her inspirational places of work, including Hampton Court and the Tower of London, as well as careers in heritage and her role as HRP Research Manager. In both sessions, there will be extended opportunities for students to ask questions of the guest speakers and discover more about their exciting careers.

The programme is led and created by:

Dr. Olly Ayers – BA (Manc), PhD (Kent) – Associate Professor in History; Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Chloë R. McKenzie – BA, MRes, PhD – Assistant Professor in Medieval History

Who can apply:

The History Mentorship Programme is open to all UK year 11 students.

How to apply:

To apply for a place, please submit an application form by 17:00 on 10 February 2022. 

Please note that, should your application be successful, your parents/guardians must sign the parental consent form; without this, you will not be able to participate in the programme.

How will it be taught?

The programme will run for six weeks, with sessions being delivered every Wednesday from 17:00-18:30 online via Zoom. The programme will commence on Wednesday 2 March to Wednesday 6 April 2022.  

Programme outline

2, March 2022 – Week 1

  • Week 1 will consist of students getting to know each other, their lecturers and their NCH Student Mentors who will be working with them throughout the six-week programme. 
  • Dr Ayers will deliver a mini-lecture on the St. Katharine Docks’ fascinating and varied history, which will lay the foundations for group projects. 
  • Students will be put into groups, assigned a theme for research, and begin work on the history projects.


9, March 2022 – Week 2: 

  • Week 2 will see students start working with their groups on developing their research projects. 
  • They will also receive an introduction to, and discuss, career paths open to historians and transferable skills gained through a history degree. 


16, March 2022 – Week 3: 

  • In week 3 students will learn about one of the most important resources available to historians: archives, what functions they fulfil and how historians make use of them. 
  • Our guest speaker for the week, Dr Daniella Gonzalez of the UK Parliament Archives, will talk about this fascinating and ever-developing repository of records and its 500-year history, as well as career opportunities in archives. Dr Gonzalez will also talk about her journey into archives and will be available to answer any questions students may have about this intriguing and important line of work.


23, March 2022 – Week 4: 

  • Week 4 will consist of project check-ins and development with lecturers and mentors. The session will begin by checking in on the progress of the students’ research projects. 
  • In the second part of the session, students will complete a personal development workshop on resilience and positive influences. 


30, March 2022 – Week 5: 

  • In week 5 students will learn about Public History and working Heritage in the UK. Students will discuss how to explore and learn about the past in the modern world. 
  • Students will also hear from our second guest speaker, Medieval Historian Dr Laura Tompkins, Research Manager at Historic Royal Palaces. Dr Tompkins will talk about what it is like to work in such inspirational places as Hampton Court and the Tower of London on a daily basis, as well as the kinds of jobs available in historic sites and sharing her own journey into the heritage sector. She will also be able to answer students’ questions about both her research and her place of work.


6, April 2022 – Week 6: 

  • In week 6 students will continue working on their research projects with support from both their lecturers and NCH Student Mentors.
  • In the second part of the session, students will complete a LinkedIn and personal branding workshop to help boost careers prospects and internship opportunities.

Final Project Presentations:

The culmination of the History Mentorship Programme will be held at NCH’s London campus at Devon House in St Katharine Docks. Students will present their final group projects and have a chance to reflect on what they’ve learned with their lecturers and each other. There will also be an opportunity to visit some of the places we’ve been studying by going on a scavenger hunt around the docks, with prizes for the winners!

Register Here: