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Four podcasts for the perfect study break

By Lucy Pegg

Tuesday 10 April 2018 Student Journalists

Deadline season is approaching and no matter your year of study or skills at organisation, you’re surely overwhelmed by essays, reading, coursework and practical’s. No matter how pushed for time you are though, everyone has to have a break. If you want to keep your brain engaged and those intellectual faculties turned on, a podcast can be the perfect way to spend your study breaks. Listen in bed, on the way to university, or whilst you’re wandering around a supermarket. Here are four suggestions to get you started.

In Our Time

I’ve used In Our Time as wider reading for my degree so many times that I’m not even sure its really a study break – its so useful its really just studying, via the mellow tones of BBC Radio Four. Each episode Melvyn Bragg discusses a topic with three academics who are experts in the field. Whatever you’re interested in, or whatever you’re studying, there will be something for you in the vast archive of previous episodes. From Aphra Behn to the Zulu Nation, with Parasitism and Hannah Arendt in between, In Our Team really does seem to have covered everything.

Oh Witch Please

For the Harry Potter nerds amongst us – and let’s be honest, who isn’t a Potter nerd really? – this is the perfect podcast. Marcelle and Hannah, both scholars at Canadian universities, guide their listeners through the world of Harry Potter via the lens of cultural and literary theory; whether they’re exploring the material print culture of the Harry Potter universe, reading fascism in the institutions of the wizarding world, or just laughing at (and examining, of course) the obvious phallic connotations of wands, Oh Witch Please finds the balance between fandom, fun and academia expertly.

No Such Thing As A Fish

No Such Thing As A Fish is exactly the podcast you’d expect to be produced by the writers and researchers behind QI. Each episode is essentially 30 minutes of bizarre, but fascinating facts, most of which seem barely believable. Perfect for finding anecdotes and facts with which to impress friends, this podcast is also just a delight to listen to. Hearing the hosts so passionate about the sheer thrill of knowledge is sure to inspire you in your own learning, even if you aren’t lucky enough to find that shark vending machines or communist caterpillars actually have much to do with your course content.

Dear Hank and John

This podcast from Hank and John Green – brothers, massively popular YouTubers, New York Times best-selling writers, leaders of legions of “nerdfighter” fans, etc, etc – continues in the vain of the many intelligent and hilarious choices above. Segments include a short poem, the provision of questionable advice, and Hank and John providing updates on Mars (the planet) and AFC Wimbledon (the football team) respectively. It sounds very random – and it is – but the cohesive glue is the winning personalities and exuberant enthusiasm of the hosts and the community of listeners. What more than bizarre over-intellectualised discussions can you want from a study break?