Before I started my PhD, I was reading for an MA in Victorian Studies at University of Leicester. I have an MSt in Creative Writing and a BA in Classical Civilisation and Philosophy.
One big difference about being a postgraduate rather than an undergraduate is that you have more responsibility for the direction of your studies and the topics you choose to research and write about. You’re expected to have your own critical stance. There’s no ‘typical’ day, which is one of the best things about it. Your schedule is up to you. One day you might be working from home or in the library, the next you might be researching in an archive or presenting your work at a conference.
There is a strong sense of community in the English department and lots of opportunities to participate in the research culture (and social events where you don’t need to talk about your research at all).
I want to work at a university as a lecturer in Victorian literature. I’m also a huge Oscar Wilde fan, so it was win-win. I will be applying for post-doctoral positions. I currently have a job at University of Leicester Global Study Centre where I work in admissions and student services.
If I was to offer up advice to a future PhD student, I would say that part of the process is discovering exactly what your project is about. It sounds odd, but ‘doing’ the PhD is how you find out what your PhD actually is, as you sharpen your focus and identify your original contribution.