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Postgraduate study

Student views

Hayley McNally

Hayley is studying for a Master’s in English

MA English

‘My ability to speak publicly and participate confidently in seminars and discussions has undergone such a dramatic change I barely recognise myself.’

Hayley McNally

Why Teesside?

After studying my undergraduate here, I didn’t want to go anywhere else. The staff are supportive and the subject content is engaging. My confidence and self-esteem have increased and my outlook on life has changed. I have been allowed freedom to pursue my own areas of research.

Tell us about your course

My love for literature, the humanities and critical theory drew me to the course. I noticed a definite step up from undergraduate, I did feel a little overwhelmed but I received such amazing support. Having done the English with Creative BA I adapted to this well and I loved the empowering modules. I am applying to speak at and attend conferences at other universities. I have also found my networking skills have increased.

What did you think of campus?

The campus is lovely, being local I have seen it change from its polytechnic days. Student support have been excellent with me. The catering has improved recently, with vegan options too. The library is great and the wide range of resources are excellent.

Tell us about the area

Middlesbrough has massively developed recently. The art, literature and music scene is fantastic at the minute and I think the government would be wise to focus on funding in these areas. I am proud that it is a multicultural and creative hub, especially given the economic changes since the collapse of our local industries. I think Teesside University has really helped put Middlesbrough on the map.

What skills have you gained at Teesside?

Being at university has given me confidence. I have pride in my areas of research and can confidently talk about them at length. My critical analysis development is invaluable to me, helping me not just to develop my research but understand my place in the world. My ability to speak publicly and participate confidently in discussions has undergone such a dramatic change I barely recognise myself. The relationships that I have developed throughout university have been amazing.

Tell us about your ambitions for the future

I want to stay at Teesside to do a PhD. I am aiming for a distinction in MA so I have a better chance of getting funding. I also plan to give talks to the community and begin creative projects with other artists and writers.

What would you say to students thinking of coming here?

I would certainly recommend it. It is life changing. The course is excellently structured but there is plenty of support to choose your own areas of interest.
The town itself is affordable and friendly. I would advise that students embrace the course they choose and to know that they are ready to begin a journey into higher education. Too many people jump into higher education because they think that is what they are supposed to do. I did this when I was 19 and it did not go well, whereas coming back in later life I have excelled.