My plan definitely hasn’t been to go straight into PG education, but a Masters degree has always been on my mind as something I’d like to do. The thing is, what I’d like to study isn’t going to get me anywhere when it comes to my future career, which is why I’m putting it off.
I want to study Creative Writing. I suppose doing well in my first and second year CW modules, and then getting a first in my CW dissertation portfolio, has convinced me that I’ll probably get onto the course. My determination to do well means that grades-wise it will be worth it. I don’t expect it to further my prospects, which is why I can’t justify doing it right now. A degree is expensive and takes so much time that it would be pushing back any chance at a career in publishing at least two years.
Nonetheless, I’m still researching courses and universities, comparing them against Keele and trying to figure out where I want to go – if I ever find the money and time to go back to studying. Maybe it’s the post-graduation blues. I’ve not been a student for a week and it’s scary.
Here are some of the details I’ve been collating about different schools and my thoughts about them:
University of Manchester
Ranked first for the course subject, best local writing culture, not too far from Liverpool to pop home and see my mum or could commute. Russell Group. Very popular course, always over-subscribed. 5k course fees.
I would get the Keele Bursary, and the excellence scholarship for having achieved a first in my undergraduate degree. Could possibly also be an RSA again, and work behind the SU bars again. Know the area, and the lecturers.
University of Oxford
Ranked second for the subject. Prestigious, not quite sure Oxford is a fit for me, but it would be worth applying.
Ranked fourth for the course subject. About an hour commute by car, if I can drive by then I could commute from my sister’s house. It’d take about two hours by public transport, which is a bit much.
University of Edinburgh
Ranked 14th. Russell group. MSc, not MA in Creative Writing. I do love Edinburgh, but it’s quite far away from all of my family. Edinburgh is a good city for publishing though.
University of East Anglia
I remember when I was applying for university the first time round, my teacher told me that UEA was the best for Creative Writing and I’ve wanted to go there since. The league tables don’t reflect that, but their student media is pretty good.
At any rate, these are all just preliminary thoughts. Who knows if I’ll even return to studying? I do have the interest and the motivation, and I do really want an MA, but I’d need to get a lot of work experience beforehand, and be able to afford it, so that it’s easier to get a job once I finish. I guess I’ll just keep looking into it, and working on portfolio pieces to submit as application material.
Perhaps I’m just feeling uni-sick. I can’t deny that I miss it.