Archaeology and Ancient History student John Mitchell has recently graduated from the University of Birmingham and is going to start an MRes in Archaeology. He tells us about what he is looking forward to about returning to the University of Birmingham.

John Mitchell sitting on a bench on campus

The focus of my Masters is my research project: a preliminary project looking at how prehistory is taught in primary schools and informed by pop culture aimed at that age group. This will result in producing a support mechanism for these teachers and to help improve how prehistory is taught in primary schools across the UK.

I’m really looking forward to coming back into a more research position, before I’d done some research - Study Tour and my dissertation - but my MRes is fully embedded in the research world! I’m excited to learn even more about the past, delving more into the academic debates and discourse that surround my subjects! I also can’t wait to be back in Birmingham. It’s such a good city and campus that I just can’t wait to just be there again. I can’t wait to sit in the Green Heart when it is sunny again and explore the city even more that I have done in the past three years, especially Digbeth and the Jewellery Quarter.


I have already started my project for my MRes, my project requires a lot of forethought and planning. I have recruited 4 schools into my project already! I have set myself up to hit the ground running when I return to university. I have also been reading a book on psychology and classics, one of my research interests, finding out new things about how theatre was physically perceived and used and how the classics influences therapeutic practices.

I’m expecting to have a lot more work, especially stuff that I have set for myself. It will be more self-directed learning because of the research element of my course. I also expect that it will be more challenging in terms of the complexity of academic discourse and understanding of the prehistoric and ancient world.