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naomi miller

Naomi Miller: a life changing journey

Naomi received support, inspiration and opportunities to gain valuable work experience during her BA Ancient History degree.

Naomi studied BA Ancient History in the Department of Classics at the University of Reading. Here, she takes us along on her journey of three years getting involved in all aspects of life in the Department.

The first year

In her first year Naomi was really getting to grips with the course, but was lucky enough to take part in the Students in School scheme.  She volunteered as a tutor and teaching assistant in the history department at Reading Girls School.

"I am currently pursuing a PGCE at the Institute of Education at UCL in Secondary History and I find my work on the Students in Schools scheme invaluable for my further studies.

"The depth of organisation, confidence and subject knowledge necessary to be a part of it were fundamental in helping me grow and develop my teaching skills."

The second year

During her second year Naomi was happy to be involved in a range of different projects.

Firstly, she was part of the leadership of the Classics Society. She also took part in the Academic Placement module, in which she collaborated with Dr Emma Aston and the Ure Museum to create an information booklet on the Stanford statue of Helen that resides in the Department.

Naomi was also involved with the Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme, leading seminar style sessions in "Greek History: war, society, and change in the Archaic Age" for first-year students, with the help of another classmate.

"I found this to be an incredibly valuable insight into the world of teaching, especially at a higher education level, and it really helped me develop my own knowledge of the content taught, as well as my organisational and public speaking skills."

Outside of university, Naomi helped to conduct research and compile a portfolio for TV historian Bettany Hughes for a new documentary, and acted as a researcher, costumed interpreter and tour guide for the Reading Abbey and Reading Abbey Gateway projects.

The final year

In addition to the summer school work, in her third year, Naomi helped teach a course at the British Library named Writing the Greek Classics, and also continued to work on the PAL scheme, this time as a solo leader of the group, which again developed those aforementioned skills to an even higher level.

She was also a Part 3 representative and was an auto caption corrector for the online lectures that started taking place due to COVID-19. However the highlight of Naomi’s final year was working on her dissertation.

“It was the best thing I completed on my undergraduate course. It was called 'Claiming the Poet: The Role of Homer in Ancient Chian Identity'."

"I am pleased to have been invited to speak at the NYU Institute for the Studies of the Ancient World – Graduate Workshop Series, discussing my research on the Homeridai – a great honour."

An incredible experience

Naomi credits the Department for supporting her and giving her the skills and passion to grow and succeed.

"I don't think any department at another university could rival this one. They are so incredibly talented in their research, knowledge and teaching, and are also some of the kindest, friendliest and most encouraging people you could ever come across.

“Get involved and try new things. You will meet so many new and wonderful people, and there are some brilliant opportunities out there that you wouldn't expect. Take as many as you can and want to, and enjoy them.

"There is such an amazing support network around you that you will find the strength to learn, experiment and branch out.”

Learn more about undergraduate study

classics student alex heavens graduating

Alex Heavens: enchanted by the ancient world

Alex's fascination with history and the ancient world propelled him to study BA Classics at Reading.

classics student jemma callue on her graduation day

Jemma Callue: getting involved

During her BA Classics degree, Jemma took up some of the opportunities available in the Department. This included becoming a peer mentor and module representative.


Karim Bhaluani: keeping his options open

Karim studied both his undergraduate and master's degrees in the Department of Classics. The flexibility of the courses and ability to keep his options open attracted him to study at Reading.