The MA course has expanded my love for literature

Student spotlight | Alice Madeleine Priestley, MA English Literature


The MA English Literature allows students to specialise in contemporary literature or creative writing. One student, Alice, shares with us her love for contemporary literature and how studying a Master’s course has expanded her passion further.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to the course

I am a budding feminist with a love for English literature, from novels, to poems and plays. My initial attraction to the course was the chance to expand and deepen my knowledge of literature and theory. The contemporary nature of the course appealed to me as the modules are inclusive of all forms of literature, not just novels. This was an essential aspect of the course to me, as I am a keen reader of poetry. It is also an excellent stepping stone to a PhD which I would eventually like to complete.

What made you choose Leeds Beckett?

I studied BA (Hons) English Literature as an undergraduate at Leeds Beckett University and thoroughly enjoyed the course. As an undergraduate student, I found the University to be an inclusive space that focused on student needs and education. The course's contemporary nature and modules interested me and offered research and learning into how literature is transforming away from the traditional canon.

I admire all my lecturers and will be forever grateful for such exciting learning experiences. The way in which their specific interests are interwoven with their preferred genre is eye-opening and because of this I would eventually like to lecture or edit as a profession. I have started working on studying feminism through time, in my own culture, and in others.

How have you found the course so far and was it what you'd expected?

So far, I have found the course to be very engaging and exciting. Obviously, with Covid-19, studying has changed in format, with seminars being primarily on Microsoft Teams. However, all the lecturers and module leaders have been there for us as much as possible to ensure we have the best teaching experience possible.

In terms of module content, the course has been what I expected, there was just a couple of surprises with a couple of the creative writing assignments that slightly threw me! Although these were not what I am used to, they definitely helped learn to write in various ways. I really enjoy poetry and theory, so the Poetry and Poetics module is one that particularly stood out to me and that I really enjoyed.

What has been your favourite thing about your time studying at Leeds Beckett?

My favourite thing about studying at Leeds Beckett has been the support we have had from all the staff during the pandemic. Without this support, the course would have been much more challenging to complete, especially with students studying at home with lack of face-to-face teaching. The small online seminar sizes have really helped me engage with the module content and have made my course pleasant to study despite the restrictions.

What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course?

My advice for studying the MA English Literature at Leeds Beckett University would be to make sure you give yourself enough time to read all the texts! As it is a literature course, there is a lot of reading, so organisation is key, but once you have allotted enough time for all the reading, everything else comes together in a lovely fashion.


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