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Details of previous conferences, including session titles and abstracts, can be found online hereLink opens in a new window.

Each year the History Department holds a two-day conference, at which MA and PhD students present short papers on their research. The audience is composed of students and members of academic staff, who provide a friendly environment for sharing ideas and receiving feedback.

Below are some commonly asked questions about the conference. If you have any further questions which are not answered here, please let us know and they will be added to this list.

How long are the papers?

Each paper (presentation) will be 15-20 minutes long, followed by questions to the panel as a whole.

How are the papers organised?

Papers will be organised into panels of 3 - 4 speakers, loosely connected by a panel theme. You will be given notice of the time and location of your panel in the final programme sent out before the conference. Two concurrent panels will run at any one time. A chair (usually a member of staff) will introduce each paper, check you are keeping to time and field questions afterwards. The chair will not allow you to overrun and may warn you when you have been speaking for 15 minutes.

What topics do papers cover?

Students usually present an introduction to their dissertation or thesis work.

Who asks questions?

Anyone attending a panel session may ask a question, fielded by the chair. Students are encouraged to ask questions on each other’s papers throughout the conference.

Who attends the conference?

MA students and any PhD students presenting are expected to attend the full two-day conference (PhD students not presenting are encouraged to attend, but there is no obligation). Department and university staff are also invited. Prospective postgraduate students are welcome to attend.

Is it useful? Is it fun?

Yes to both! Over the years it has been running, the Postgraduate Conference has been seen as a high point for many MA students and it is highly valuable in getting friendly feedback on your dissertation topic and as practice for future academic presentation. Enjoy it!

How do you prepare?

Write your paper in good time and practice it to make sure it is not too long/short. Ask staff and students for advice on your topic and on conference presentation.