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Bethan le Masurier

BA Ancient History and Archaeology

What has been the highlight of your time at Exeter?

In Archaeology, there is a compulsory fieldwork module at the end of first year. This means spending a month camping and excavating an archaeological site six days a week (in English summer weather..!) with other people on your course. Although many of us weren't looking forward to the tents, mud and drizzle, it turned out to be one of the best times I've had while at Exeter. The whole course really bonds, both with each other and with the staff who attend the excavation, which creates a great environment for the following two years in the department, and some of my closest friends at university were made on that trip. As well as bringing us all together, actually seeing archaeology in action, picking Roman coins out of the dirt that no one else has touched for 1700 years, and sharing our findings with members of the public, is one of the best ways to really understand and appreciate the subject.

What will you miss the most about University?

Being surrounded by so many people who are all excited and passionate about so many different things. Living and studying in an environment where everyone's got something interesting to tell you – whether it's about ultimate frisbee, asteroids, first aid or Tudor fashion – is really invigorating and helps make every day different.

What did you enjoy about your particular programme?

Studying two varied subjects on a combined honours programme has given me a huge breadth of choice in modules and I've been able to tailor my course to my interests, including writing my dissertation on Harry Potter, something 13-year-old me would never have believed possible. Both Ancient History and Archaeology are multi-disciplinary subjects and engage with ideas of culture, identity, political systems, human interaction with nature, intragroup relations and all sorts of things that are relevant in so many areas of life.

What advice would you give to current and future students?

Academically, I think working out how you work best is one of the most important things you can do while at university, whether that's to do with revision, timekeeping, writing, how much sleep and exercise you need – figuring all of that stuff out is a big help for working through your degree and future projects. Otherwise, I'd say get the most out of university while you're there, whatever that means for you, whether it's involvement in societies, student representation, playing videogames with your housemates or exploring the area you live in. Not everyone has or wants the same experience at university so try to do what you enjoy.

What are your plans now that you have graduated?

Currently my plan is to take a break from studying to do some surfing, visit friends and have some work experience. Then I intend to move on to a Masters and keep exploring!