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    I'm going to start my MA in English Literature at Nottingham University in September. I did my undergrad at Birmingham University. I'm concerned that I will be at a disadvantage to others on the course as the English undergrad course at Birmingham was not that good (in my opinion!). I chose Nottingham because I live here and the course looks perfect for me, but I'm worried I won't be at the same level as everyone else. Has anyone else been in this situation? How did you manage?

    Also, I'm going to be doing my course part-time whilst working at my current job part-time. Does any have any tips on how I can balance my workload but not end up socially isolated?

    Hi there!

    You won't be at a disadvantage, that's nonsense! :-) I did really well in my English MA in Manchester, despite the fact that 1) English is not even my mother tongue! and 2) I did my undergrad at a Spanish university... which I reckon must figure even lower than Birmingham in the good uni rankings! XD Surely all you need to do is be confident of your strengths, aware of your weaknesses, and ask for support if you feel you need it. An MA is not about "showing off" what you already know, it's about developing your research skills and expertise in a specific research interest. And, I can tell you know, everyone will have to take it on the chin and work hard to make the jump from BA to MA! You'll be surprised to see how you actually know more in certain areas of knowledge than people who come from a "better" university than your alma mater...

    As for doing it PT, I don't have any first hand experience but I was friends with a few part-timers, and it is hard to balance social life and workload (uni and job-wise). My advice is try to join as many activities (reading groups, public seminars and societies) as possible. That'll keep you in touch with what's going on in academia and will help you build a support network within your class.

    Best of luck!


    Definitely won't be at a disadvantage - what happens with most MA courses, especially for subjects like History and English is that they have to be aimed at all students including those who haven't done the subject before so you'll be absolutely fine!

    Re: working. I worked during my MA part time (8hrs a week) and I found it fine to be honest. Juggling workload wasn't a problem either as I didn't actually have that much of it! It'll help you in some respects as you'll start planning your time more so that when you go to work you've not got to worry about getting back and reading the stuff for 9am the following morning. I just planned my days and weeks knowing when and where I had to be at certain times and went from there. Socialising wasn't a problem either as my friends knew I worked and we just planned around it. Also postgrad life isn't as party and socialising central as UG is so the chances of missing something big were quite low anyway
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