Rose is a final year PhD Student writing on the modernization of Catholicism in Ulster and Poznania, 1880-1914.

"My research looks at how the modern form of the Church develops in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Rather than focusing only on one aspect of the Church (e.g. the bishops or the laity), the project starts with Pope Leo XIII and the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland and Poland and then meets with the laity and their changing role in their local churches and Catholic communities.  This work is important for a few reasons: it helps to explain how Catholics at the turn of the twentieth century were able to be involved in movements condemned by the Church and yet maintain their Catholic identity; it examines how this process becomes embedded in lay Catholicism from the 1890s on, and how this further differentiates faith from religion as an institution; and the comprehensive scope of the project gives an overview of ecclesiastical history for the period that is rarely seen. The dissertation will greatly enrich our knowledge and understanding of the Catholic Church at various levels, how it functions in Ulster and Poznania individually, and how this all fits together into a greater European and international framework."

“Aberdeen was one of the only universities that had both an Irish and Polish historian I could work with, and they are also some of the best”

I first looked into coming to the University of Aberdeen because of my supervisors, who are well-respected and accomplished historians.  Because my topic is comparative, it was crucial that each of my supervisors have an expertise in at least one aspect of the research – Aberdeen was one of the only universities that had both an Irish and Polish historian I could work with, and they are some of the best. They have continually held me to a high standard of intellectualism, challenging me to adapt, expand and review my research and helping me to develop professionally through rigorous dialogue.  I also came to Aberdeen to work with the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society, and the Rule of Law (CISRUL). The academics involved in the Centre have really developed my understanding of how these three concepts intersect, and why they are so important in daily life both now and historically."

“Our PhD and Masters students are also a phenomenal group – it’s amazing how quickly we all bonded and support each other in both procrastination and progress”

“For me the History Department community is the best part of Aberdeen.  Though we’re not a massive department, every History faculty member is friendly, supportive, and professional.  Our DHP admin are also lovely people, and it’s been really great to work with everyone in the school throughout the PhD.  Our PhD and Masters students are also a phenomenal group – it’s amazing how quickly we all bonded and support each other in both procrastination and progress and even nicer to see that the group is still very welcoming to newcomers. During my time here I’ve also been able to travel for research with the support of DHP and the Uni.  In the last few years I’ve secured funding from a number of different sources and this has allowed me to travel to Ireland, Poland and Rome on a number of occasions to further my research and then to come back and share this with our research community here.”

There’s no shortage of things to do if you want to enter into local life:

"I’ve really enjoyed my time at the University of Aberdeen, and in Aberdeen itself. The city is a great size for students because there are so many different areas that you can live in but still stay within walking distance to Uni. There are a lot great events in and around Aberdeen throughout the year as well –  anything from comedy festivals and jazz to traditional boat festivals. Being so close to both the highlands and the sea also adds an element of the natural world to the culture here, helping Aberdeen maintain a rich community.  There’s no shortage of things to do if you want to enter into local life: you can find history in the old houses and architecture, outdoor activities in boating clubs, or enter the international scene in Aberdeen by joining in Latin dancing and Flamenco nights throughout the city. Though it may not be as big as other university cities, Aberdeen really enriches student life by being a welcoming community with so many diverse activities and interests."