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Durham University

Department of English Studies

MA Students Diaries

“After I arrived in Durham, it was quite daunting to move from the light-hearted welcoming week at my college to the serious, academic environment of the English department. As it turned out, I had no reason to worry at all.”

Ida's MA student diary

You've looked at a prospectus and browsed the websites - but what is life really like as a taught MA student here at Durham English Studies? To give you a sense of what to expect, we asked three of our MA students who studied in 2015-16 to keep a diary of their experiences throughout the year.

Anna Curry

Anna did her BA in English and History at the University of Western Australia and worked in Education before pursuing post-graduate study. Her main interests are in Twentieth-Century literature and theory, particularly Modernism, Magical Realism and Post-colonialism. In her first diary entry, she reflects on differences between Australian and British systems of teaching, and in her second she talks about opportunities for publication and presenting at conferences. In her third entry, Anna reflects on the move from writing essays, to writing a dissertation.

Ida Marie Halvorsen

Ida is originally from Norway, where she also did the first year of her BA in English Studies. She spent the following two years at University of York and Seoul National University before applying to Durham for her MA. She is fascinated by the interplay between literature and psychology, but has also taken an interest in drama and short prose. Aside from her English studies, Ida is often engaged in student affairs and educational policy. Read Ida's diary on getting started with her first seminars, forging new friendships over books, and planning her dissertation research.

Hannah Piercy

Hannah describes studying on the Medieval and Renaissance pathway of the English Studies MA. Hannah's main interests are in early medieval literature: she particularly loves writing about gender, monsters and death (preferably all together). She completed her BA in English at Cambridge University in 2015. Read Hannah's first diary on choosing her modules and settling into the student community, and her second on reading and thinking around her subject (and sometimes doing things other than studying!). In her third entry she reports on embarking upon her dissertation.

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