Why did you choose your course at the University of Birmingham?

I have previously completed both my BA in English Literature and MA in Literature and Culture at the University of Birmingham, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed, so I was well acquainted with the Literature department here before starting my PhD. The atmosphere on campus, and within the School of English, Drama and Creative Studies in particular, was always kind, friendly, and extremely nurturing. During my years here, I was very fortunate to have interacted with many members of the English Literature team, who I found to be not just excellent teachers and forward-thinking researchers within their respective fields, but wonderful mentors too, encouraging me to voice my ideas during seminars and helping me to hone my academic writing skills at every degree level.

During my Masters studies, I met my three doctoral supervisors, who each specialise in a key aspect of my own research. It was a great fit and their unwavering support and guidance over these last few years has been monumental during my doctoral journey. For me, the University of Birmingham and its English department was the perfect place to continue my learning and postgraduate research. It has led me to further opportunities outside of my thesis too, and I’m very glad I stayed.

How have you been supported with your research?

The support during my research has been phenomenal, and I have been very fortunate to have been surrounded by such a wonderful supervisory team, who are not only invested in my work and research, but also in my future career. My doctoral supervisors have not only guided me throughout my research journey, but have also introduced me to many networking opportunities. This has allowed me to experience being a part of different academic communities, and has enabled me to participate in several brilliant conferences and public engagement activities. One highlight of my PhD was that my research enabled me to participate as a Literature specialist on a panel at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History alongside several brilliant researchers, including Sir Philip Pullman, author of the fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials.

What have you learnt from your course?

My doctoral studies have taught me several things, including how to write succinctly for an academic audience, how to produce an original and innovative piece of research, how to present my work to specialists within my research field, and most importantly, how the impact of a doctoral thesis can go beyond just the page. It has also helped me to develop a more holistic and realistic understanding of the potential careers available to me after my PhD, and has granted me the chance to explore which of these future options I would like to take.