Philippa Vandome

Subject Shakespeare Studies
Course MA Shakespeare and Theatre
Country United Kingdom
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How will your degree prepare you for what you want to do afterwards?

I am undecided as to what exactly I want to do after finishing this course however being able to study in an area surrounded by performance and the history of the subject allows me to explore my options as well as giving me a further extended knowledge of the field. During the course there are opportunities to listen to a range of academics currently working in the field as well as giving you an opportunity to discuss and present your own academic research. This helped me to understand better what it would be like to continue working in this sphere. Another option I am exploring is going into working in the theatre and so my studies in performance here have been invaluable.

Was there a big transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study?

There is a significant transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study particularly in the environment of study. There is greater emphasis on self motivation to read around the subject areas however having chosen an area of study that I am very interested in this does not feel like a task but is in fact of interest to me. There is a distinct change in the diversity of the people that you study along side with students coming to study from a broader variety of careers, pervious study and cultures. This is one of the many benefits of studying as a postgraduate because it makes discussion highly diverse and interesting.

What piece of advice would you give to anyone considering postgraduate study in your field?

All experience is good experience, see as much Shakespeare as you can and read what ever you find interesting about the subject. Although it is a widely researched area there are always new things to learn and new things for you to input.

Have you joined any clubs or societies, gone on any research trips or done any volunteering?

Yes, as an Undergraduate I was privileged to be a member of the University Women’s choir, which perform at the University and by invitation in Birmingham and London alongside other choirs and orchestras each year. I took part in Birmingham University Dance Society in my first year and was involved in a few Guild Drama productions. I volunteered at Winterbourne house when they asked for actors to help them run event days. As a postgraduate I have joined the Shakespeare Institute Players (Drama group) and will be start volunteering at the Shakespeare Birthplace trust in Stratford very soon.

Can you describe your journey from school to where you are now?

In Sixth form I studied for the International Baccalaureate, Theatre being one of my Higher choices. I then went to the University of Birmingham to study Drama and Theatre Arts thinking that I would prefer working in practical theatre to academic research, however I was quickly proved wrong and took an interest in academic theatre research for historical drama and new theatre. I developed a love of Shakespeare that had stemmed from school through my university career and then discovered the Shakespeare Institute through the department in Birmingham and decided that a Masters in Shakespeare and Theatre would perfectly extend my studies.