Past Humanities Projects

Students within the College of Humanities have run 52 projects since 2013, focussing on: employability; strengthening student-staff relationships; enhancing a sense of community within disciplines; student welfare; and disicipline-specific skills sessions. Please feel free to take a look at a selection of projects that have been completed in the past. If you have an idea for a project, or would like to re-initiate a previous project, please get in touch using changeagents@exeter.ac.uk, or contacting Cathy King

The Archaeology Careers Fair has been running as a Change Agents project for six years. The fair is designed to increase the sector specific information availabile to Archaeology students. Whilst the event has grown in size, the Archaeology SSLC student representatives have continued to drive the organisation of the project. Building on previous years, in 2014 the event was extended to cover the Heritage as well as Archaeology sector. In 2015 the fair grew further, and a wider range of SSLC representatives, particularly from Classics, English, History, Liberal Arts, and Theology were consulted in the initial planning stages.

Established in 2014, Branches is an all student-led employability committee which is based at the Penryn campus. The aim of the committee is to highlight, advertise, and run employability events aimed at Humanities students, open communication channels with the careers team, and look at the types of careers Humanities students are interested in pursuing. Most importantly, the project aims to give students a voice in employability matters, and allow students to discover their own professional interests. In 2016/17 the committee has involved representatives from each year group and successfully implemented a 'Graduate of the Month' series, and collaborated with the Humanities Employability team on the Creative Careers festival. You can visit the Branches page to find out more. 

Following the success of the Branches committee in Penryn, a Branches Streatham committee was established in 2016/17. 

The Classics Parent Scheme was implemented by the Classics Society, under the directorship of Toby Gladwin, at the beginning of the 2015/16 academic year with the support of Amanda Pocklington (who oversees the University’s PAL and PASS schemes) and Magdalene Cassidy. The scheme aimed to match first year students with second and final year students to help new students settle into the University, improve links between students across all years, academic staff, and the Classics Society. 

Responding to an increasing desire of Humanities students to receive more subject-specific advertising of employability events, the student Employability reps from History (Luanna De Abreu Coelho) and English (Lucy Forsey) produced subject specific employability calendars that were advertised to students on ELE and Facebook. 

In conjunction with the College of Humanities Employability Team, Ben Marvell (Academic Officer) and Alice Hall (Publicity Officer) from the History Society organised an alumni event entitled ‘From a History degree to a career in Media’. The event was a success with over 90 students in attendance and a chance to network after the event. Each year the History Society aim to run one employability event in conjunction with the History department and Employaility Team to highlight the range of career options available to History students. 

In 2015, the History SSLC Subject Chair undertook a piece of research looking at student perceptions of assessment and feedback in core modules as part of a broader review of assessment and feedback across the department. SSLC members organsied one focus group for each year in order to gather student feedback regarding what students do/ do not like about current practice, and to identify where improvments could be made. Feedback from the final written report has been incorporated into changes within History, such as introducing a seminar participation mark for final year student-led seminars. 

At History SSLC meetings in 2015/16 students raised that many of their peers would like to receive more information about the research community within the History department. In response, the SSLC introduced an e-newsletter. The first edition was circulated in March and contained information regarding research events and other news from the department. Subsequent newsletters included highlights from the different research centres, Q&As with lecturers, and a section promoting student research. 

In February 2017, Barnabas Balint (BA History) organised an academic conference for students to explore issues surrounding the Holocaust. The event was attended by Ernest Simon, a Holocaust survivor who escaped to the UK on Kindertransport, University of Exeter students, and pupils from a range of schools in the local area. University of Exeter academics also led a series of breakout sessions about the Nazi regime, treatment of Germans and Austrians living in Britain during WWII, and Jewish religious responses to the Holocaust. 

You can read the full story of the conference. 

Liberal Arts is a new programme, with the first set of students graduating in June 2016. In order to help prepare for graduation, a group of final year students organised a careers event aimed at highlighting what you can do with a Liberal Arts degree and how students can articulate skills gained through their degree to employers. The event was a success, and a similar event was run in Term 1 of the 2016/17 academic year. 

In order to help first year Liberal Arts students adjust to life at University, the Liberal Arts SSLC Subject Chair introduced a peer mentoring scheme where first year students were matched with second and final year students who were majoring in a discipline they were also interested in pursuing. The scheme has been a success in 2016/17, with the SSLC Subject Chair (Phoebe Greenwold) being shortlisted for the Peer Mentor Organiser Award at the 2017 VP Education Awards. 

The MA Translation PGT SSLC representative (Sarah Kearsey) introduced a round table event involving current MA students and alumni to address the problem of having little face-to-face interaction with alumni and professional translators during the course of the MA programme. The panel event allowed students to ask alumni from a variety of professions about their current work, and a chance to network afterwards. Feedback from the panel event was positive, with one student commenting 'The honesty of the panel meant I was able to learn a lot from them. They presented the industry clearly, warts and all.' 


Following the event, 90% of attendees agreed that speaking to people in the profession was useful in helping develop their career planning. 

Feedback from final year Modern Language students reported that students would appreciate hearing more about less traditional careers open to Modern Language students beyond going into teaching and translation. In response, final year Modern Language students organised an alumni panel event which was attended by over 30 students. The event was successful and students appreciated the chance to informally chat to alumni after the event. 

The ‘Practical Film Project’ has run every year since it was conceived in 2013/14 by David Holt, a final year Film Studies student.The project was established to meet a high demand for opportunities to learn and develop practical filmmaking skills, to compliment the theoretical elements of the Film Studies programme.

The theme of the competiton in 2015/16 was 'The Student Experience' in celebration of the University's Jubilee. 32 students took part, creating films with the support of independent filmmaker Jamie Chambers. Four films were submitted to the competition for consideration by a panel of judges (including academics from the Film department) at an informal screening event. In 2016/17, the project received Annual Fund funding which allowed Stephen Szemelak, who managed the 2015/16 iteration of the project, to return to judge the final films submitted to the competition.  

The short term aims of this project are to equip participants with the confidence to pursue a career in the film or media industry by introducing them to a range of key practical skills.