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Laura Quinn

MA Romantic Studies

'I saw an advert for Birkbeck on the side of a bus in Westminster; describing it as ‘London’s Evening University’ so I looked into it. I work full time, so I knew I would be unable to study during the day.

'I had always planned to do my Master’s in South Africa, but living in London there are so many great resources available such as the British Library and the museums. I knew I would never get the opportunity to study in this kind of environment again so I decided to enrol at Birkbeck.  I love London, and the University of London is one of the best universities you can go to.

'Being in London you have the resources of the many museums and curators, most of whom are willing to converse with you. At the moment I’m doing an essay on Blake and I get to go to the British Museum and sit with the actual plates and read them, it’s very interactive and material based.  How I think about Blake has changed because I have seen his works on display.

'I investigated the university through my previous lecturers and people I knew, all of them responded to say it was a wonderful college, and mentioned that it has a good research reputation. You can see that people here are constantly writing papers. When you do a search in any journal or database, someone who has taught you at Birkbeck will come up in the first batch of results.

'The flexibility to study part-time means I can have a full-time job. Being able to study is important to me, but it needs to be alongside my career.  Your qualification doesn’t guarantee you a position anymore, you have to have work experience as well.  I’m very motivated and driven so don’t see a problem with working and studying. It is challenging around essay time however, getting the time to sit and write. I think it comes down to knowing that you’re capable and having people around you that believe in you. Birkbeck definitely offers the support system you need.

'My relationship with my fellow students is really good, as a part-time student you all have busy lives, which is different to being a full-time undergraduate. Studying a multi-disciplinary subject means that you meet people from lots of different areas which is really interesting. One day I hope to do my PhD, I’d like to teach at university level, and maybe go back to South Africa to share the knowledge I have gained. You’ve got to constantly achieve things in your life and studying is about keeping that up.  It’s a continuous progress of learning.

'I would definitely recommend Birkbeck to anyone willing to make a commitment to studying, everything is there to support you.' 

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'When you do a search in any journal or database, someone who has taught you at Birkbeck will come up in the first batch of results.'