Anita Lanaghan

Subject Theology and Religion
Course Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies MA
Country United Kingdom
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What piece of advice would you give to anyone considering postgraduate study in your field?

Believe in yourself and be willing to challenge your mind in academic education. If you have any disabilities, don’t feel ashamed as this is the time you can work on your weakness and turn your weaknesses into strengths. I would advise good time management and to be realistic about what you want to achieve. Being a postgraduate student has its challenges between life, family and work. However, you can achieve more than you think as long as you try different study approaches and are a highly motivated individual. The more you put in your education, the more confidence you will have, and eventually, you will see a difference in your attitude, and you will be more confident holistically in your personal life and your employment.

What has been the highlight of your time at Birmingham?

The highlight of my Master’s degree is believing in myself and passing my first essay. I enjoyed the challenge of each module and the expertise of all the lectures. I have contacted the professors through telephone and emails on a weekly and sometimes daily basis, especially at the beginning of the course. The teachers take an interest in you as a person, which I found unusual. I found that the lecturers always encourage their students to achieve with an open and honest approach and despite them being busy they always find time to assist you.

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

I left school with no qualifications and was encouraged to work in low pay jobs without any academic future. However, I eventually enrolled on a BTEC sports science course with transferable teaching skills that I had acquired in the Army reserve. I went onto a BA Hons degree. I was frightened to apply for a postgraduate degree as I am a dyslexic student with a different BA Hons discipline background. Notwithstanding, I have nearly finished my 1st year for which I am achieving pass/merits grades in each module. Therefore, don’t allow people or circumstances to prevent you from achieving your goals.

Was there a big transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study?

The skills that I learnt from my undergraduate study were transferable with more in-depth knowledge within a graduate education. The lecturers are skilled and experienced and are very supportive. Each module develops your academic journey, and if you work hard, study and are organised with your time management, then the transition in my opinion is not that big. You’re never alone with the supporting network of Birmingham members of staff and students.