Some recent MA Graduates share their views…
Mark Loughton: MA English Studies 2010-11
I entered onto the MA English Studies programme straight from finishing a BA in English, also at Lincoln. I chose to extend my time at University because I had really enjoyed the three years of my degree and wasn’t ready to end my academic career at that point. The contemporary units being offered on the MA in English Studies were also something that attracted me to the course. Having spent three years immersed in literature from different periods of history the chance of addressing post 2000 texts was something that really interested me. It gave me chance to apply my previous learning to contemporary works and begin to understand how the world of literature has evolved. Being able to associate the texts with events that have happened in my lifetime opened my eyes to political, philosophical and cultural changes; things that I perhaps missed whilst studying for my BA. Not only did the MA further my academic skills it also confirmed and reinforced what I had learnt on the BA giving me a lot more confidence in my own ability. This boost to my confidence is something that has become invaluable to me as I have now become a lecturer working in prisons. The lecturers of the English Department have been instrumental in improving my confidence inside and outside of University. They have always been friendly, supportive and there to provide extra help and a push in the right direction when needed. I couldn’t recommend them and the course highly enough.
Kate Parry: MA English Studies 2008-09
I was attracted to the University of Lincoln’s MA English Studies by the potential limitlessness of its field of study.The continuously forward moving boundary of the contemporary literary moment offers a space uninhibited by a pre-existing weight of critical works on a given text; it is the paradigm for anyone who, like me, wishes to explore literature as it emerges and unfolds.I found that the rigour and intensiveness of the course opened to me a powerful set of theoretical frameworks upon which to build my own ideas and innovations in literary criticism.This has provided me with the concepts and training necessary to move into doctoral studies, and also facilitated the building of working relationships with the academic staff now supervising my PhD.
Overall, my Master’s year was bloody hard work, and enormous fun.
Cheryl Cliffe: MA English Studies 2008-09
After completing a BA in English I was keen to continue and develop the skills I had acquired as an undergraduate. I was particularly attracted by the contemporary nature of the MA course which provided the opportunity to apply my knowledge of established literary theories and conventions to current texts. The twenty-first century literary theory option covered the work of contemporary theorists with a particular emphasis on how globalisation affects twenty-first century thought. Through the application of old and new theory it was possible to uncover the ways in which literature represents the social, cultural and philosophical changes that have taken place over time.
The course provided many opportunities for students to present ideas and work to other postgraduate students and academics via in-class papers and at postgraduate symposiums: the resultant discussions and suggestions from peers and academics helped to reinforce ideas and open up further avenues of research. The specialised knowledge and support of academics, along with the excellent research facilities that the university offers, enable students to produce innovative work of a high academic standard that firmly establishes the importance of literature in the twenty-first century. The research and communication skills that I developed throughout the course are invaluable in my existing employment in the University of Lincoln Library.
Susie Karpasitis: MA English Studies 2007-08
I decided to enrol on the MA English course at Lincoln because I felt that as my undergraduate degree was ending, I was just getting into my academic stride. I still had so much that I wanted to learn, and I wanted to apply all of the new skills I had acquired into subject areas that were even more demanding, challenging and rewarding than those I had studied before. In the year that I spent on the MA course I found myself intellectually stimulated and personally encouraged from start to finish. The tutors are experts in their field, but unlike at other universities, they are experts who have the time to talk to you. This is fundamentally because the groups are much smaller and more intimate than at other postgraduate institutions. You have space to develop ideas in seminars, and the friendly group atmosphere means that everyone is pushed to their potential and no-one is left behind. This also means that you inevitably become friends with members of your group outside of university; our seminar group would often meet up for coffee before seminars to talk through ideas, or go for drinks in the pub afterwards to keep the discussion going.
I am now undertaking a PhD at Lincoln, and staff – even those outside my area of research- continue to help and guide me personally and professionally every step of the way, whether formally in tutorials or over a coffee in the café. I am still in touch with all of my MA friends all of whom have since gone on to have successful careers in their chosen areas.