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The University of Southampton
EnglishPart of Humanities

Josephine Walker English BA and MA English Literary Studies

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Hi I am Josephine Walker currently studying a MA in English Literary Studies.

Having already studied at Southampton, I liked the style of teaching, and the staff in the English department. With the larger challenge of the MA, I felt confident that the university would help and support me, and so knew I wanted to come back after my BA.

What were you anxious about before coming to Southampton, and once here were these fears overcome?

I was worried about the heavier workload, as well as coming back when most of my friends had left after graduating. These fears were overcome by the introductory events the university and my specific department ran, where I was able to meet new people on the course, who I could rely on for support with any assignment I found difficult. The focus the university places on working with your peers really helped me feel a sense that everyone is supporting one another.

What is it like studying here?

Whilst it is at times difficult, I enjoy my study here very much. The challenges have made me realise my potential, and believe in my abilities. The same can be said for the lecturers, who have encouraged me to work to my full potential, and follow my own instincts in my study of English Literature. Whilst the work is challenging, there are clear breaks and the university encourages students to occasionally relax and destress, so I very much enjoy my study.

How do you rate study facilities at the University, such as the Library?

The Library is easily one of the best resources of the University. With very expansive stores of books and other texts, and helpful staff willing to aid at any time, I find it invaluable. Furthermore, the online presence of the Library is also very helpful and a great resource for students of all years. I also particularly like how the Library includes spaces for all types of study – from discussion and conversation on the lower floors, to silent study on the upper levels.

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’ (best experiences) so far?

Witnessing what I could achieve has been my best experience so far. I never knew I was able to do postgraduate study, and it was the support of my tutors and lecturers who made me see this potential.

What other activities have you taken advantage of while at University?

I have been able to attend a variety of lectures and seminars outside of my course, as well taking advantage of the gym classes at the university facilities.


Have you had any exposure to employer involvement or research-led learning during your course?

The MA concentrates much more on research-led learning, and I think this has made me more aware of my own analytical voice and writing practice.

What are you enjoying most about your course?

I am enjoying learning about areas that my BA did not focus on, such as research methods, as well as the freedom to build my own MA programme through the direction I take though my studies.

Do you have any idea of what you would like to do in the future?

In the future I would like to go into news journalism or some element of book publishing. My course has helped me in this, in demonstrating research skills and showing me examples of alumni who have gone into these areas.

What advice would you offer to potential students?

My advice for potential undergraduate students would be to make sure you feel you connect to the university ethos, and then get involved in as much as possible, as it goes quickly! My advice for potential postgraduates would be to trust that you can reach your full potential, you are able to do the work, and just go for it!

Did you stay in University accommodation?

Whilst I have been in privately rented accommodation since my second year, I spend first year in Monte halls. I loved my time in halls, and made friendships that continued throughout the three years of my undergraduate degree. I would definitely recommend halls, as it is the only time you will experience an environment like it.

Do you like living in Southampton?

I like the shopping opportunities, and the nightlife of Southampton, as well as the direct travel links to London and other places of interest. Whilst the city can be dangerous, the university has great campaigns that teach students how to keep themselves safe, and as long as I follow these guidelines, I feel quite safe.







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