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

As an interdisciplinary researcher combining my background in both music and linguistics, I found it rather challenging to find courses and potential supervisors that would be able to embrace both areas in a properly comprehensive and insightful way. I was really glad to find it all here, at the University of Birmingham, and so far it has been a tremendously rewarding and inspiring experience.

What have been your highlights so far in undertaking your research and why? How have you been supported with your research?

I originally came here with what I thought was a rather clear and precise vision for the research. Having spent some time on quite mind-opening discussions with my supervisors, along with diving into some really interesting literature, I am now able to see a slightly broader picture and I find the whole process even more compelling.

On a more organisational note, being quite an active and busy person with a lot on my plate, I particularly appreciate the flexibility and individual approach. Great communication with the supervisors and the administration staff reinforces the feeling that I brought my research to the right place.

What have you learnt from your course? How has it prepared you for your future career?

I never really thought of this research in terms of career goals or potential life changing opportunities – to me, at least at this stage, it’s more about the process and the exchange rather than any specific result. But having said that, if I do end up pursuing the academic path further, I am quite confident that throughout the course of the doctoral studies in this great environment I will acquire all the tools and competencies to continue my work anywhere.

What has it been like studying as a distance learning student?

At first I was worried that being a distance learning student would practically mean I would be on my own with most of the work, but I couldn’t be more wrong. Modern platforms and digital communication tools allow me to be in touch with the supervisors and attend meetings and classes regularly, at very much the same pace as if I were based on campus. Distribution and access to any relevant materials, resources and information is impeccable. And while being miles away obviously does involve certain limitations, I don’t think it affects the research in any way that would make it less valuable.