When Henry Daramola-Martin completed his undergraduate degree in History at Warwick University, he already had the long game worked out. Knowing he wanted eventually to establish a career in law, he recognised that it would be difficult to take time out further down the line to pursue his academic ambitions. So before applying for law conversion courses, he came to Cambridge to complete an MPhil in World History, with which he will graduate this weekend.

“I loved it,” he says of the course. “It was so research driven – I think 70% of the grade was based on the dissertation.”

With considerable freedom to choose his own area of research, Henry elected to explore a topic with huge contemporary resonance – the issue of ‘looting’ artefacts from other countries for display in museums.

“I went to the V&A in London, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge, and to Windsor Castle, looking at the objects I’d just been reading about,” he says.

An acquaintance at Warwick had described Darwin as “the only place” to be a postgraduate in Cambridge, so Henry followed his advice and applied directly to the College.

“I think it can be harder to feel part of the College scene as an MPhil student if you’re surrounded by undergraduates. A lot of my cohort were here just for one year, like me, but as I was involved in sports I also got to know a lot of the PhD students. I served as Sports Officer in the DCSA, and was also part of the Football Club. I loved it – plugging into that social side really opened up my experience.”

Living in Frank Young House, Henry benefitted both from the convenience of Darwin accommodation and a sense of separation from the main College site.

“I spent a lot of time in the Darwin library, so it was nice to feel I was going “home” in the evenings.”

Henry has just secured a training contract with Slaughter and May to begin in September 2026, after the completion of his conversion course. Having scratched the intellectual itch of taking his passion for history a little further, there’s a long professional road ahead.  But first, he has factored in some breathing space.

“I’m taking some time out between now and next September to go travelling. I want to go to South-East Asia, and I have an uncle in Houston so I’m also planning to go to the States, and maybe South America too. I haven’t quite worked it all out yet.”

You get the impression that’s not something he says very often.

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