Skip to main content
Undergraduate study

Our students

Mia Braine

Mia has gained a first-class degree and is looking forward to her future.

Mia Braine

BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing

Teesside's English department is fabulous, and I loved every minute of my university experience.

Tell us why you decided to go to university

Before coming to Teesside I worked in a number of support roles in education, and realised that the only thing keeping me from progressing in my career was the lack of a degree. At that time my children were both in senior school and becoming more independent, and I decided that the time was right to take on a new challenge. I have always loved reading, but I also wanted to expand my creative abilities to include writing, so I chose the combined English and creative writing degree.

What do you like most about your course?

I enjoyed the modules on literature from different eras such as the romantic era, modernist era and the postmodern era. I also enjoyed the different literary category modules, such as contemporary historical fiction, fiction by British Muslims, and studying different aspects of contemporary culture such as feminism and race. The creative writing modules allowed me to experiment with different writing styles and techniques, and develop my own writing. The range of modules suited my interests very well, and gave me a balanced grounding in English studies.

What do you think about the campus and the services offered?

The campus is very compact, and you are never more than ten minutes’ walk from where you need to be. The library has excellent resources, with a range of workshops to support you and has recently been refurbished in a modern, playful style. I have also used the careers service to help me with updating my CV.
Middlesbrough centre is only minutes away from the university. The university is situated in a vibrant part of the town with lots of supermarkets, food outlets, cinemas, and art galleries within walking distance.

Are you a member of any clubs or societies, a course rep or student ambassador?

Due to family commitments, the only extra-curricular activity I decided to do was becoming a student ambassador. It has added to my university experience, as I’ve met lots of other students, who I would not otherwise have met. I have participated in a number of activities, such as women's days, international student registration and open days.

Have you worked on any projects with businesses or been on a placement?

Through the careers services, I secured a Teesside University-funded internship at The Auxiliary Project. My role was varied, helping to prepare exhibition spaces, install new exhibitions and take them down. I also supported the team during workshops, with administration and with the development of health and safety procedures. The internship was not specifically linked to my degree, but I gained valuable experience of working in the creative industry and met like-minded people.

What skills have you gained at Teesside that you feel will help you in your chosen career?

I’ve improved my research and critical thinking skills, writing skills, both creative and academic, and presentation skills. I've also improved my ability to work as part of a team, and to relate to people from different backgrounds more effectively. I can work under pressure and achieve more than I previously might have thought.
I plan to study an MA in Creative Writing, but also hope to work in a creative industry in the future.

Would you recommend Teesside University and your course?

Absolutely. I have learned so much more than just about literature and creative writing. I have learned about history, politics, contemporary culture, and I still feel as if I have merely scratched the surface of all these topics. I would recommend the university because the course was well put together and presented. Teesside's English department is fabulous, and I loved every minute of my university experience. I was delighted to achieve a first-class degree. You get out of university what you put in. If you come with an open mind and are willing to learn you will have a great experience. Don't be scared to ask for help. Staff are there to support you - so don't be shy to make use of everything that is available to you.