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    hi all,
    I'm looking for some advice/information.
    I am currently an undergrad studying English Literature and I know that I want to do a Postgrad when I have completed my degree (which will be next year). Durham University obviously appeals to me for alot of reasons, but of course it is one of the best Unis in the country for English, and so I'm guessing competition is tough. The Uni I am at currently is not particularly highly rated for English, but due to financial reasons it was the Uni I had to go for in the end (Had to turn down a place at Edinburgh Uni unfortunately). Anyway, what I'm looking for is some general advice on getting into postgrad at Durham, especially English. Do you think that the fact my degree will be from a less respected University will hinder my chances? What are other peoples experiences of applying for postgrad English at Durham? And any other general advice/words of wisdom would be much appreciated.
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    Do you think that the fact my degree will be from a less respected University will hinder my chances?

    At the postgraduate level, it doesn't really matter where you went for your undergrad degree. It's all about the candidate. If you meet the entrance requirements, have a strong personal statement that shows your passion for the subject and good references, you should be able to secure an offer.
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    Hello! I'm applying for postgrad English lit as well, though probably not to Durham. Do you know which period you want to specialise in and are you considering other universities? I doubt your undergrad university would be a problem - in a way it might be an advantage if you really stand out and therefore build strong relationships with potential referees. However I am no expert on the subject, being but a lowly applicant myself ...
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    (Original post by vee88)
    hi all,
    I'm looking for some advice/information.
    I am currently an undergrad studying English Literature and I know that I want to do a Postgrad when I have completed my degree (which will be next year). Durham University obviously appeals to me for alot of reasons, but of course it is one of the best Unis in the country for English, and so I'm guessing competition is tough. The Uni I am at currently is not particularly highly rated for English, but due to financial reasons it was the Uni I had to go for in the end (Had to turn down a place at Edinburgh Uni unfortunately). Anyway, what I'm looking for is some general advice on getting into postgrad at Durham, especially English. Do you think that the fact my degree will be from a less respected University will hinder my chances? What are other peoples experiences of applying for postgrad English at Durham? And any other general advice/words of wisdom would be much appreciated.
    I'm doing an MA in English at Durham. As long as your marks are good enough, then your previous university is pretty irrelevant. On the course at present, there's students from Durham, Oxford, Yale, York, Leeds, Lancaster, Newcastle, Northumbria, Manchester, Manchester Met, Royal Holloway, Exeter. So there's a massive spread of universities--in terms of location, and supposed 'quality'--and it all becomes pretty irrelevant once you're here.

    Basically, the uni doesn't really matter. Your marks, references, sample essay and the personal statement are the key factors.
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    (Original post by Nicholas Urfe)
    I'm doing an MA in English at Durham. As long as your marks are good enough, then your previous university is pretty irrelevant. On the course at present, there's students from Durham, Oxford, Yale, York, Leeds, Lancaster, Newcastle, Northumbria, Manchester, Manchester Met, Royal Holloway, Exeter. So there's a massive spread of universities--in terms of location, and supposed 'quality'--and it all becomes pretty irrelevant once you're here.

    Basically, the uni doesn't really matter. Your marks, references, sample essay and the personal statement are the key factors.
    oh, a current Durham English Student! I've applied for English PhD a couple of weeks ago and really really hope it will work out as both the department and my potential supervisor seem amazing!
    I know you are on a taught course but still, how is the graduate English student life treating you?
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    (Original post by kajama)
    oh, a current Durham English Student! I've applied for English PhD a couple of weeks ago and really really hope it will work out as both the department and my potential supervisor seem amazing!
    I know you are on a taught course but still, how is the graduate English student life treating you?
    Postgraduate life at Durham is great. Postgraduates are really treated like adults by English staff, both intellectually and socially, and there's a lot to get involved in.

    I'm applying for a PhD, too. We're going to be fighting it out for funding.:p: What's your potential topic, and who's your potential supervisor?
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    (Original post by Nicholas Urfe)
    Postgraduate life at Durham is great. Postgraduates are really treated like adults by English staff, both intellectually and socially, and there's a lot to get involved in.

    I'm applying for a PhD, too. We're going to be fighting it out for funding.:p: What's your potential topic, and who's your potential supervisor?
    uuuu, competition :catfight:
    Particia Waugh is my potential supervisor and I want to work on plagiarism in postmodern lit. What about you?
    Out of curiosity, how many PhD students do they tend to take on each year.
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    (Original post by kajama)
    uuuu, competition :catfight:
    Particia Waugh is my potential supervisor and I want to work on plagiarism in postmodern lit. What about you?
    Out of curiosity, how many PhD students do they tend to take on each year.
    Cool. That sounds interesting. I've been to one of Patricia Waugh's seminars, and she's great. Her book on metafiction is also one of the best around.

    To be honest, most PhD students who apply will probably get an offer, but it's funding that's the issue! And the competition is going to be pretty horrific this year. The department has next to no funding (probably six fully-funded PhD scholarships at the most), and there's 45 Master's students this year (the most Durham has ever had). I think about 20 of those 45 MA students are likely to apply for a PhD, though it could be more or less. On top of that, there's people like yourself, applying from other universities. So basically, I think about 1 in 5/6 people will get funding. I just don't know how they're going to nominate people -- everybody seems to have an interesting topic in mind, and everybody seems to have an extremely strong academic record. It's scary stuff!
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    (Original post by Nicholas Urfe)
    Cool. That sounds interesting. I've been to one of Patricia Waugh's seminars, and she's great. Her book on metafiction is also one of the best around.

    To be honest, most PhD students who apply will probably get an offer, but it's funding that's the issue! And the competition is going to be pretty horrific this year. The department has next to no funding (probably six fully-funded PhD scholarships at the most), and there's 45 Master's students this year (the most Durham has ever had). I think about 20 of those 45 MA students are likely to apply for a PhD, though it could be more or less. On top of that, there's people like yourself, applying from other universities. So basically, I think about 1 in 5/6 people will get funding. I just don't know how they're going to nominate people -- everybody seems to have an interesting topic in mind, and everybody seems to have an extremely strong academic record. It's scary stuff!
    yeh, I know her work and she's amazing, and would be absolutely perfect to supervise my project.

    but wow, that sounds like a real crowd!!!! even worse than I though.
    From what I found on Durham's website there is even less money for English than you say. They just have 2 AHRC studentships for English and there are 8 uni studentships, but those are for all of arts and humanities. there is something else in the dep as well I think but that's 3000/year. Unless there is something not advertised online that requires insider knowledge, that's it. hmmm...
    the only good thing about so many current MA students applying is that it really shows how good the department is. And probably makes it even more difficult for people from other unis, like me, to get in and get funded.
    are you applying anywhere else?
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    (Original post by vee88)
    hi all,
    I'm looking for some advice/information.
    I am currently an undergrad studying English Literature and I know that I want to do a Postgrad when I have completed my degree (which will be next year). Durham University obviously appeals to me for alot of reasons, but of course it is one of the best Unis in the country for English, and so I'm guessing competition is tough. The Uni I am at currently is not particularly highly rated for English, but due to financial reasons it was the Uni I had to go for in the end (Had to turn down a place at Edinburgh Uni unfortunately). Anyway, what I'm looking for is some general advice on getting into postgrad at Durham, especially English. Do you think that the fact my degree will be from a less respected University will hinder my chances? What are other peoples experiences of applying for postgrad English at Durham? And any other general advice/words of wisdom would be much appreciated.
    As Nicholas Urfe's comment shows most candidates come from Russell Group and 1992 universities, but it will not hinder your chances if you come from a lower ranked university. I am currently doing English at Manchester Metropolitan, and Edinburgh, Lancaster and York have all offered me a place so far; it does not look like it has hindered my chances so it will not hinder yours either! Good luck with the application.
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    (Original post by Belphoebe)
    Hello! I'm applying for postgrad English lit as well, though probably not to Durham. Do you know which period you want to specialise in and are you considering other universities? I doubt your undergrad university would be a problem - in a way it might be an advantage if you really stand out and therefore build strong relationships with potential referees. However I am no expert on the subject, being but a lowly applicant myself ...
    :yep: And with postgrad it is much much more international as well, so deaprtments will get applications from unis they don't know much about alongside a hole range of internationally recognised institutions and they will still consider them and give them offers if they make for strong applicants. So don't worry about the brand name, just about making a strong case for yourself and you'll be absolutely fine.

    Btw. sorry for hijacking the thread and turning it into PhD application discussion. Maybe useful for next year if you decide to go onto a research degree? :p:

    good luck with your application!
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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    (Original post by Belphoebe)
    Hello! I'm applying for postgrad English lit as well, though probably not to Durham. Do you know which period you want to specialise in and are you considering other universities? I doubt your undergrad university would be a problem - in a way it might be an advantage if you really stand out and therefore build strong relationships with potential referees. However I am no expert on the subject, being but a lowly applicant myself ...
    For Durham I was looking at the Romantic and Victorian Literary Studies course, but not completely decided yet! I do have another year to go so plenty of time to fully research all the options. How about you? Where are you applying? I was also looking at Leeds and York...maybe Edinburgh but I would prefer to move away from Scotland haha.

    Nicholas Urfe - thanks for that, it's good to hear from somebody who is there and encouraging to hear you are enjoying it. Are you doing the MA English Literary Studies?

    evantej - congrats on your offers! Where do you think you will go?
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    (Original post by vee88)
    Thanks for the replies everyone.



    For Durham I was looking at the Romantic and Victorian Literary Studies course, but not completely decided yet! I do have another year to go so plenty of time to fully research all the options. How about you? Where are you applying? I was also looking at Leeds and York...maybe Edinburgh but I would prefer to move away from Scotland haha.

    Nicholas Urfe - thanks for that, it's good to hear from somebody who is there and encouraging to hear you are enjoying it. Are you doing the MA English Literary Studies?

    evantej - congrats on your offers! Where do you think you will go?
    No problem. Yeah, I'm doing the general English Literary Studies MA. To be honest, my personal opinion is that taking a pathway (such as 'Romantic and Victorian') is pointless. Essentially, it makes absolutely no difference in terms of modules, but only limits the area in which you can do your dissertation. So, for example, I'm doing modules on Joyce, Beckett and Romantic poetry. I have a friend who's doing exactly the same modules, but under the 'Twentieth-Century Literary Studies' pathway. This means that whilst I can do my dissertation on anything modern or Romantic (or indeed, anything else I fancy), he has to write his dissertation on something written in the Twentieth-Century. In brief, pathways are restrictive, and have no other real purpose.
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    (Original post by vee88)
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    For Durham I was looking at the Romantic and Victorian Literary Studies course, but not completely decided yet! I do have another year to go so plenty of time to fully research all the options. How about you? Where are you applying? I was also looking at Leeds and York...maybe Edinburgh but I would prefer to move away from Scotland haha.

    Nicholas Urfe - thanks for that, it's good to hear from somebody who is there and encouraging to hear you are enjoying it. Are you doing the MA English Literary Studies?

    evantej - congrats on your offers! Where do you think you will go?
    I am not sure to be honest as I have applied to other universities (Bristol, Newcastle, Oxford and Sheffield), and I still have one application (Liverpool) to finish too so I will wait to see what the rest of the offers come out like; will probably make a decision around June when all the funding deadlines have passed so I will know if I have been successful. Anyway, I have no real preference as I only applied to places that I liked and were interesting, and I applied for different programmes too so I am not restricting myself at all; research/taught and English/comparative literature etc. Realistically, if someone offers me funding (of any sort) then I would almost certainly go there.

    Problematically, it is far more likely that I will go to certain places than others since they have more funding places up for grabs; the only funding I can get for Edinburgh, ignoring the fact they have the highest fees and living costs, for example, is their UK/EU scholarship, which any postgraduate can apply for, and it is only a fee-waiver! Likewise, I can only get a fee-waiver from Lancaster too, while York has loads of funding since they came top of RAE 2008 in English so they are a good bet!

    Two words of advice: if you are in your second year, then I would, assuming you get a bursary (maintenance grant) from your university, save it for postgraduate, having a little bit of money saved will help loads, particularly if you want to leave Scotland, and work as hard as you can. My first year results were not good, but I changed my attitude and worked really hard in my second year, which meant my grades sky-rocketed. This meant I had essays I could use for postgraduate applications straight away and I could get really good references at the drop of a hat; I got one from a member of staff who had left the university - no one else was even allowed to ask!

    I agree with Nicholas Urfe's advice regarding pathways too; most of the programmes I have applied to are interdisciplinary or "open pathways".
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    Thanks for the advice - definitely seems to make sense to take a more broad course while still specialising in what I want to! so thanks for that.
    Yeah, the funding is an issue for me as well. I am in 3rd year right now (but 4 years in Scotland) and I get both a Bursary and a Loan from SAAS which is quite alot considering I still live at home, so I try and save alot of that. I have been working pretty consistently since first year but am going to step it up a gear now in the hope of a First...even though my 3rd year grades don't count towards my final degree, it can't hurt
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    (Original post by vee88)
    Thanks for the replies everyone.



    For Durham I was looking at the Romantic and Victorian Literary Studies course, but not completely decided yet! I do have another year to go so plenty of time to fully research all the options. How about you? Where are you applying? I was also looking at Leeds and York...maybe Edinburgh but I would prefer to move away from Scotland haha.
    I applied to Cambridge, York and Queen Mary for Renaissance courses I like the look of Durham though. Romantic=hot stuff, but Renaissance is where the magic has always been for me
 
 
 
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