Case study

Masters student — Roy Bayfield

Roy Bayfield decided to study the MA Nineteenth Century Studies at Edge Hill University in order to broaden his intellectual horizons and study areas of interest in greater depth

Why did you decide to pursue a postgraduate course?

By studying an interdisciplinary Masters, I can really explore areas I'm passionate about in literature, culture and history. If I hadn't taken the course, I'd still be wondering 'what could I discover if I took this further?' Now I'm getting to find out, which is a real adventure.

What was the application process like?

It was very straightforward. I was surprised by how speedy the response was. Before completing the form, I attended a couple of online applicant events, which were useful for finding out more information.

Why did you choose this postgraduate course and institution?

I chose this particular course because of its exciting range of interdisciplinary subject-matter, and the reputation of the lecturing team. I knew Edge Hill University pretty well and expected it to be a supportive and innovative place to study - expectations that have certainly been fulfilled.

How are you funding your postgraduate study?

I'm self-funding my postgraduate degree.

Tell us a bit about the course and what it involves.

MA Nineteenth Century Studies is an interdisciplinary programme that brings together literature, history and culture related to the long nineteenth century (comprising the years 1789 through 1914). That means a vast array of potential study material.

With a choice of taught modules and a dissertation, there are plenty of opportunities to explore topics in depth. We're taught by staff from Edge Hill's EHU Nineteen research centre and encouraged to participate in events and conferences, so we're plugged in to an international network of scholarship in this area.

Overall, the course has a fun and ambitious ethos with a highly committed teaching team. Anyone interested in this fascinating period, when so much culture that we continue to enjoy was created amidst historical trends we're still experiencing, should check it out.

How does postgraduate life differ to that of an undergraduate?

It obviously involves studying at a higher level and being more self-directed. The scope is a lot wider, which means there's freedom to go down lots of rabbit holes - the big academic adventure. We're part of a postgraduate community, in the early stages of journeys that for some will lead to Doctorates and beyond, which means striving to develop our arguments and present our research at an advanced level. That can be daunting, but we get excellent support every step of the way.

What do you hope to do when you graduate from the programme?

After my postgraduate degree, I wish to pursue further research, possibly in adaptations of nineteenth century classics in popular forms such as comics and films.

What tips would you give to others choosing a Masters degree?

  • Take advantage of opportunities to meet the lecturers, either face to face or online, and ask your questions however simplistic or challenging they may seem.
  • Physically visit the campus, if possible, as the study environment does make a difference - see if there are spaces and facilities that will enhance your experience.
  • Check out the library and its services, as things like opening times and how many inter-library loan books you'll get are important.
  • Reading about the staff is useful, to see what they have published and what their own research is all about.
  • Dig as deep as you can into information about modules and see if you can get hold of reading lists. I read a couple of books before applying to test out my interest levels, thinking if I make it to the end and have questions about what I'm reading, I'm probably in the right ballpark.

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