Jacqueline Burton tells us about her forthcoming postgraduate year at Newman.
Well, today was the day I enrolled onto my Victorian Studies MA course with Newman University!
As a mature student, I graduated, along with friends, from University of Worcester in 2012 with a BA in history. Since then, as we were addicted to study and research, we have all continued with further study. My journey has taken a little longer. Keen for me to take on further study, friends continued to send enticing emails of various courses that might pique my interest. One of them was the first year that Newman was offering their Victorian Studies MA and, as I’d produced my final year dissertation on working-class Victorian women and leisure, I took a peek. At once, I was excited and so made further investigations. The content was interesting, part-time was an option and, since I have to work full time, the lectures were evenings with some Saturday mornings. It was all looking good!
Another friend had recommended the library as she had used this in the course of her PhD research. I then decided to book onto an Open Day. These are primarily for undergrad students but I just wanted to get a feel for the place and check out the facilities, including said recommended library. I was not disappointed. Another tick! Newman had a lovely fresh feel about it, light, airy and modern. In fact, it was akin to my beloved Uni at Worcester, I felt at home… At this open day, I was fortunate enough to meet one of life and history’s characters and personalities, the now late Dr Chris Upton.
I left Newman feeling fresh, excited and enthused for my future pathway! I then made further enquiries by email to Dr Upton and Dr Ian Cawood. Both were very kind and encouraging, and put up with my worries and woes of being good enough to apply. Dr Cawood confirmed that evening lectures did not run late and were held at the Birmingham Midland Institute. This is a fine Victorian building in itself, very suited to the course. I also found out that there were also close connections with Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and the Black Country Museum. More plusses! After all of this, I put in my application and was relieved when I was accepted!
Unfortunately, I had to defer for a year, which Newman were very good about and since then, of course, student loans are now available from 2016 for Masters degrees, which will enable so many more to reach their goal and achieve!
I am happy to report that I am more excited than apprehensive about starting the course later this month. It will be good to be back in the ‘study fold’ once again and will be looking forward to ‘writing retreats’!
I was sad to receive an email from Dr Upton advising me of his illness and extremely sorry to hear of his subsequent death. However, I know that he leaves a large legacy on which to continue building and have no doubt that he sits on the ‘shoulder of Newman’ looking down over all budding historians sprinkling wisdom when we least expect it…