Every year, the School of History and Cultures’ Undergraduate Dissertation Poster Conference gives our final year students the chance to showcase their dissertation research in the form of a poster. Over the course of an afternoon, they discuss their ideas with other students and staff and get valuable feedback on their work.
Zoe Screti presenting her dissertation poster
This year, 15 posters from across the School were on display, which is the largest in the conference’s history. Topics covered included Greek myth, Tudor court fools, the mental health of WW II POWs, UoB students’ use of Instagram, and women on death row. This represented a greater range of research than ever before and the participants valued the chance to share their ideas. Sarah Armes (Dept of African Studies and Anthropology) said: ‘Presenting my poster and explaining the concepts of my dissertation was a really useful aspect of participating. It forced me to summarise the key ideas of my work, conveying them in accessible ways to the attendees. This allowed me to gain more clarity, which I could then apply when writing up the dissertation.’ Rachael Banes (Dept of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology) said: 'I found having to think about conclusions (which were still very far from being written at the time!) very helpful - and has helped me now write my conclusion'.
Sarah Armes presenting her dissertation poster
As well as celebrating our students’ dissertation research, the event gives second years the opportunity to gain informal advice from final years on approaching and selecting a dissertation topic. They said that attending the conference was 'helpful for dissertation inspiration' and that it was 'very informative and interesting to hear about other people's dissertations’. The attendees also enjoyed 'talking to other students about topics outside our own studies' and 'to people clearly interested in their topic' who are doing 'brilliant work'.
The prize for best poster, as voted for by the audience, went to Scott Gordon (Dept of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology) for his poster on ‘Prehistoric Homicide – Murder or War?’. All the participants also gained points on the Personal Skills Award, the university’s award-winning employability programme.
A big thank you to all the students who presented and to everyone who came along to support them.