chestnut book blog

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To PhD or not to PhD


I’ve just finished a Masters in English Literature with the Open University. I started it in October 2010 so it has taken a while but I can honestly say it has been one of the best experiences of my life. For a very reasonable price, compared with what I paid for my first degree as a full-time student (and especially now that prices have gone up much more than when I was a student) I have had first-rate tutors, good admin and web-based support and a wonderful time.

After my first degree (which was a law degree for those interested), I thought I never wanted to study or do an essay or exam again. My dislike for exams and revision has not diminished over time, however, after about 5 years out of Uni I did start to miss learning. I was in a job that was not challenging me at the time so I decided to apply to the OU. I chose English Literature as I had always loved reading and slightly wished I had done an English degree first time around. ¬†Luckily, my first degree meant I could go straight in at Masters level as the theme of the course, intertextuality, was right up my street. So fast forward two and a half years and I have enjoyed my Masters so much I’m thinking about getting in even deeper and doing a PhD. It is a struggle to find the time to do academic work around a normal job like I do, but one of the ladies from my last course really inspired me – she had four children, was a lawyer and had a dog, but was still doing really well on her OU work! I thought: ‘Well, if she can do it with all that going on, so can I!’

I think I’m waffling a bit so sorry, but I thought that might be useful for anyone else thinking about doing the same kind of thing. Anyhow, I’ve missed the deadline to submit a PhD proposal for this year, but I have started a draft so we’ll have to see for next year! I will keep you up to date if it is of interest! Bye for now!

2 thoughts on “To PhD or not to PhD

  1. I think you should do it because it sounds as though you really want to (and you’ll regret it if you don’t give it a try). It may be hard at times, studying at that level alongside everything else you have to do, but I bet you’ll manage and it will be worth it. Whatever you decide, good luck!

    • Thank you Karen, I think I will! Part of the problem is that I’m dithering over the topic – I was set on Edith Wharton’s novels, but am now wondering if something more canonical would be better. It is a nice problem to have though! I hope you are well! Caroline

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