“It’s tough writing academic essays after a 40 year break – but I’m enjoying the challenge!”

David Richardson reflects on part-time study week

Part-time MSt student David Richardson returned to Cambridge to study naval history after a long career in business.

David Richardson

“Right from the beginning I felt warmly welcomed into College,” says part-time History MSt student David Richardson. “Being part-time at Wolfson seems to be no bar to feeling a real part of the community!”

Living close by to Cambridge enabled David to spend more time in College, making use of the facilities and study spaces, and engaging with other students, particularly through his extensive rowing experience.

“Having been involved in rowing for nearly 50 years, I was able to help out with coaching in the Boat Club over the last year,” says David. 

“Bumps is still getting back to normal after the dislocation of Covid, and whilst success on the river has been a little hard to come by recently, the spirit in the Club is extraordinary. It has been a real pleasure to be part of it.”

A passion for history

David always wanted to deepen his study of history, but it wasn’t until ending his full-time work that he had the time to really pursue that interest. 

“A friend suggested I have a look at the Cambridge MSt course, and it has proved to be exactly what I wanted - a year getting a grounding in different genres of history, followed by a year writing a dissertation on my own specialism of pre-WW1 naval history.”

“After a long business career, getting back into academic work has been stimulating, even if it is sometimes tough to balance the demands of studying with the rest of life,” he adds.

Special Study Week

David particularly enjoyed the recent Special Study week, which he described as being “really useful, combining the experience of living in College with the ability to work uninterrupted, and get to the library whenever I need to do so.”

“The study support provided by the College librarians, including the 'Wolfworks' seminars led by Laura and Alberto have been invaluable, and really helpful.”

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Quick links: Part-time study, Special Study Week