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Student story

James Marks

20 July 2023

"EDS has been a great help to me during my time at Canterbury..."


Certificate in University Preparation

Bachelor of Arts in History, with minors in English and European and European Union Studies

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in History

Studying towards a Master of Writing

UC was James' first choice in university, and after completing a Certificate in University Preparation to begin his studies, there was no hesitation in choosing his major subject.

"I have always had a deep love of history, so I was glad to find that they offered History as a subject and degree at Canterbury," he says. "I enjoy the wide range of courses that are all on offer at Canterbury; I've taken courses on New Zealand, American, European and Japanese history, and I also enjoy the company of my fellow students and lecturers, who are all deeply interested in history as I am."

His initial undergraduate study choices included English and European Union Studies, which were inspired by his creative writing hobby.

"I am interested in learning about all eras of human history, especially Ancient Rome and the Second World War, along with creative writing, which allows me to use my love of history to create characters, plots and scenarios."

Outside of study, James also gets involved with the UC History Society and has "found it very fun and sociable, meeting others who are as interested in history as I am".

James has also made the most of the Equity & Disability Service team to gain extra support completing his degrees.

"The Equity & Disability Service has been a great help to me during my time at Canterbury; they have helped me in regards to special conditions for my exams, helping me if I had any problems with my courses and also the submission dates for my essays and other assignments - the EDS has also provided personal help when I have felt overwhelmed by my courses and workload."

From the support that he has had with his own study, James encourages other students to seek advice where needed to make the most of being at Uni.

"I would say that you have to come prepared for the huge amount of information you will take in during your lectures, and if you are struggling, please do not be afraid to ask your lecturer for help with anything."

After completing his Honours study in History, James went onto UC's Master of Writing programme to develop professional creative writing skills and experience.

"I felt that it was the next logical step in continuing to study a passion that will always be a part of me," he says. "I have been a writer since a very early age and took several creative writing courses during my undergraduate study to rediscover the joy I found in creating characters, locations, plots, and building worlds."

"My advice for students who share the same deep passion for writing as I do is to definitely apply for the Master of Writing. You will be surprised where it can take you creatively and professionally and it will help build a strong career."

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