The Masters by Research provides an opportunity for any aspiring researcher to develop academic research skills and complete your own research project. The huge bonus is that you also have experienced academics to supervise that project.
After thirty years in employment, I decided that I wanted to fulfil an ambition to study an undergraduate degree. In 2018, I applied for, and subsequently studied on, the English Literature BA (Hons) degree at Edge Hill. My sister also completed her BA (Hons), and PGCE at Edge Hill so I knew the campus.
I was able to select modules studying some of my favourite texts and authors. I also had the opportunity to expand my literary interests and studied a ‘Sexualities and Subversion’ module, from where I developed the idea that has become my MRes dissertation.
I have not been limited by age, disability, or previous lack of academic experience. The lectures, and seminars are all excellent on the English literature and creative writing courses. I benefited hugely from the wealth of brilliant lecturers on all modules.
I found that the freedom to complete independent research, under supervision, really suited me. The Masters by Research provides an opportunity for any aspiring researcher to develop academic research skills and complete your own research project. The huge bonus is that you also have experienced academic to supervise that project.
An MRes prepares researchers for PhD progression. Alternatively, it can be taken as a standalone qualification, and springboard into a research career. As this type of study is not taught, the responsibility to complete the project, manage time, plan for, and overcome setbacks is on the student.
My personal reason for taking an MRes over a taught masters was to test my ability. I had to submit my research proposal for approval by the Graduate School, complete a data management plan and submit an application for ethical approval for my research project. Postgraduate researchers (PGRs) undertake independent research to defend their position on a subject of particular interest to them.
I am fascinated in how readers choose books by the written and visual information which publishers display on book covers. Particularly, the representation of gender identities and how that representation had changed with the introduction of gender studies, feminism, and queer theory. I’m interested in the assumption that visual images on book covers represent the content and genre of the text. Using critical discourse analysis, I have been able to scrutinise whether publishers accurately represent the identities within the narrative of texts, on the cover images.
What I love in social sciences is that the aim of social research is emancipation. In my project, I have been able to declare my positionality as a researcher, and to critically challenge a social injustice of gender misrepresentation.
The campus itself is what I have enjoyed most about studying at Edge Hill. From access to excellent resources, and a supportive environment, to regular sightings of the library cat and the ducklings, the entire campus has a welcoming and friendly appeal.
I wish to progress on to a PhD once I’ve finished my MRes. I would also love to eventually publish peer reviewed papers that academics enjoy reading. From taking the first step back in 2018, my sole goal has been to challenge myself and keep going as long as I love what I am doing.
Make contact with anyone whose work you have read and been inspired by. The department has lots of very talented academics publishing some important research, so network.