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    Hi,

    I've been accepted on to two English Lit MA courses and I'm having a hard time choosing. I would enjoy both courses equally, it is more a question or whether by choosing one I limit what I can do afterwards.

    Option 1: An environmental literature course
    Option 2: A Victorian literature course

    I love both Unis and both courses look great. I'm undecided as to whether I want to pursue a career in the environmental sector or whether I would like to carry on to PhD level. If I choose the environmental lit course I would be studying a broad range of time periods with no scope to specialise other than in ecocriticism, but ultimately if I decided to do a PhD I would want to specialise in Victorian literature with an ecocritical approach. There is next to no option (aside from my dissertation) to study Victorian modules at option 1. If I choose the ecocriticism would I struggle to find a PhD place because I have limited Victorian knowledge? Would employers be looking for specific environmental knowledge or do you think my transferable skills would be enough (I am assuming that they would be)?

    Essentially I'm looking for opinions and anybody who has experienced something similar

    Thanks for any help!
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    While it may to some extent depend on the employer (you haven't specified your intended career?), I think it's a safe assumption that the average graduate employer will neither know nor care about the difference between two literature MAs, which are useless except for transferrable skills. There is no best literature masters for a career outside of academia, in other words.

    As for PhD chances, it's simple - choose whichever one you have a stronger interest in and therefore can produce more impressive research. That's what will get you funding.
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    What sort of jobs in the environmental sector would you be looking at?
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    Thank you for your replies. The point with the PhD is that I'm interested in both subjects, but particularly a combination of the two areas. So whichever I took at MA level I would still be combining the two during my dissertation and if I did a PhD. I'm more confused about whether I would need to specialise in Victorian literature to gain a deeper knowledge of the period and then take an ecocritical stance on it or if it is possible for me to study ecocritical approaches and gain knowledge of the Victorian period at PhD level.

    To be honest I'm not wholly sure yet at specific career paths, but I was thinking areas like farming, sustainability and energy. In terms of positions it would be jobs that involved aspects of project management, PR, marketing. I'm still trying to figure that out at the minute!
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    (Original post by sf563)
    Thank you for your replies. The point with the PhD is that I'm interested in both subjects, but particularly a combination of the two areas. So whichever I took at MA level I would still be combining the two during my dissertation and if I did a PhD. I'm more confused about whether I would need to specialise in Victorian literature to gain a deeper knowledge of the period and then take an ecocritical stance on it or if it is possible for me to study ecocritical approaches and gain knowledge of the Victorian period at PhD level.

    To be honest I'm not wholly sure yet at specific career paths, but I was thinking areas like farming, sustainability and energy. In terms of positions it would be jobs that involved aspects of project management, PR, marketing. I'm still trying to figure that out at the minute!
    That's OK then! A lot of environment jobs are pretty science so I was worried you were going to want to go down that route!

    Sounds brilliant, Rachel Carson is my idol.

    Personally, given where your interest lie job wise I feel going down the environment route rather than Victorian route might be a better option. After a masters many people feel like, OK, its time for a break, and work for a while, either deciding to do a PhD later or not at all. Secondarily to that, in terms of fundingfor a PhD, I think you could probably draw from more funding pools by going heavy on the environment slant, so it may give you an advantage there. On top of that, if you find yourself in a position, as many, many people do, where you can't get funding straight off, you will need to start working as you search. As I said, Victorian literature is less likely to have as much appeal as something with an environment basis in the kind of jobs you are looking for.
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    I have no idea about jobs, but I imagine that academically, you would be better to go for the more specialised ecocritical masters, as Victorian Literature (vast as it may be) is much more of a general field/period, rather than a specific approach. It would be much harder to pick up to fine details of theory on your own than it would be to gain a familiarity with the broad debates and major works of the Victorian period (either as part of your MA dissertation or as part of your first year at PhD). Broader knowledge is important and you don't want to overspecialise, but given that your interests fit into this particular niche, it would be a good idea to master it thoroughly.
 
 
 
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