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MA Application English Literature watch

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    Hi all,
    this is my first message so hope I am in the right place!
    I am studying at Sussex University (BA English Literature) I am in my second year as an undergraduate.

    I have always assumed I would become a teacher, indeed I took two years out before going to university to teach, but now I am not so sure.

    I have 5 A levels all Bs and Cs but I am headed towards either a high 2:1 or a low 1st (every mark I have received so far has been 69% except for a handful of 70%s).

    Would it be worth pursuing an MA (at Sussex hopefully), I am really interested in the 'Literature, Theory and Culture' option.

    My questions;
    Would it be worth applying with mediocre A Levels (and indeed mediocre GCSEs)?
    What relevant extra curricular activities would you advise I choose in order to improve my application (I already help run the English Society and am one of three representatives for my year group as a Student Rep), would it be worth applying for any particular jobs?

    Many thanks in advance
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    (Original post by literaturenerd)
    Would it be worth pursuing an MA (at Sussex hopefully), I am really interested in the 'Literature, Theory and Culture' option.

    My questions;
    Would it be worth applying with mediocre A Levels (and indeed mediocre GCSEs)?
    What relevant extra curricular activities would you advise I choose in order to improve my application (I already help run the English Society and am one of three representatives for my year group as a Student Rep), would it be worth applying for any particular jobs?
    If you have a good BA they won't be very interested in your A levels, still less your GCSEs. Plenty of people leave them off their postgraduate applications, in fact.

    There aren't many jobs or voluntary roles which directly supply experience which looks attractive on an application for an Eng Lit MA... I suppose if you found a position as a copy-editor or research assistant for an academic literary journal that would be good. On the plus side, because there aren't many extracurricular things you can do to boost your application, admissions committees tend not to be too concerned about extracurricular things. The primary thing you can do is get a good degree classification.

    You're on the spot in Sussex already, so if you haven't already I'd strongly suggest sounding out your lecturers for advice. They'll probably have the best ideas about what would prepare you well for their own department's MA course. Apologies if you've already done this!

    As for 'would it be worth pursuing an MA', look into the costs and career effects now, and think hard about what you want to do with the qualification. You'll have to work out whether it's worth it for you personally.
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    (Original post by QHF)
    If you have a good BA they won't be very interested in your A levels, still less your GCSEs. Plenty of people leave them off their postgraduate applications, in fact.

    There aren't many jobs or voluntary roles which directly supply experience which looks attractive on an application for an Eng Lit MA... I suppose if you found a position as a copy-editor or research assistant for an academic literary journal that would be good. On the plus side, because there aren't many extracurricular things you can do to boost your application, admissions committees tend not to be too concerned about extracurricular things. The primary thing you can do is get a good degree classification.

    You're on the spot in Sussex already, so if you haven't already I'd strongly suggest sounding out your lecturers for advice. They'll probably have the best ideas about what would prepare you well for their own department's MA course. Apologies if you've already done this!

    As for 'would it be worth pursuing an MA', look into the costs and career effects now, and think hard about what you want to do with the qualification. You'll have to work out whether it's worth it for you personally.
    Thank you so much for your response! The part about not mentioning GCSEs etc on applications is such a relief!
    And thank you so much about your advice r.e. work experience.
    I am scared to ask lecturers about an MA application, I am only in my second year in my BA and do not want to seem too presumptuous, it does make sense to ask though! thanks! I know many lecturers specialise in the period of literature I would like to study and have spoken to a few about their published work (which I have read/am currently reading)

    apologies for not being clear-I meant would it be worth pursuing an MA with the qualifications I already have, not as a general question.

    Thank you so much for your help,
    take care!
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    (Original post by literaturenerd)
    I am scared to ask lecturers about an MA application, I am only in my second year in my BA and do not want to seem too presumptuous, it does make sense to ask though! thanks! I know many lecturers specialise in the period of literature I would like to study and have spoken to a few about their published work (which I have read/am currently reading)
    Glad if what I said was useful. On talking to lecturers, I'd say that in my experience most of them are chuffed when someone's interested in doing more study, and there are ways to avoid too much risk of sounding presumptuous ('I'm finding my work on this course really satisfying, and I know my marks have been at least reasonable, is postgraduate study possibly an option, at all? What should I be doing?'). And the earlier you raise the topic, the more time you have to get useful advice and act on it.
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    I applied to a good Russell group Uni, which although wasn't the cream of the crop is a very well respected university. They basically said the only grades they would even consider were undergraduate, and the rest was based on the strength of your application (personal statement, references etc.)

    However, I can't comment on all universities.
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    (Original post by NoHeroes94)
    I applied to a good Russell group Uni, which although wasn't the cream of the crop is a very well respected university. They basically said the only grades they would even consider were undergraduate, and the rest was based on the strength of your application (personal statement, references etc.)

    However, I can't comment on all universities.
    Which university? If you don't mind my asking?
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    (Original post by literaturenerd)
    Which university? If you don't mind my asking?
    Cardiff University
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    (Original post by NoHeroes94)
    Cardiff University
    fab! It's lovely to know it is possible. Thanks!
 
 
 
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