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Postgraduate study

Student views

Tom Found

BA (Hons) English Studies / MA English

Tom Found

Why university, and why Teesside?

I wanted to build on the skills I'd acquired during my A levels. University felt like the natural path to take and gain my independence, learn about things I was interested in, and have fun. There was also something exciting about being in a new environment with new people and opportunities.
Teesside has a solid reputation and I had only heard positive comments and feedback, and I was also reassured by the staff who were professional, welcoming and friendly.

What do you like most about your course?

It strikes a balance between supported and independent learning. You can attend a lecture, take some core ideas and then reflect on them to reach an understanding which is organic and nuanced.
I've come to love writing essays. I like the way half-formed, gut-instinct ideas naturally form themselves into solid arguments, and the feeling of importance and discovery when new, original insights arise. I've also enjoyed engaging with critical material, doing independent research and referencing. My favourite modules have been The Age of Modernism, Questions of Feminism, and Authors and Authorship. For my undergraduate and postgraduate major projects, I've managed to combine the aspects of these modules which I found interesting.

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

They are very good. I really like the way campus is set up with a central 'heart' which gives a feeling of togetherness. The buildings are modern and aesthetic which makes being on campus a pleasant experience. There are several cafes, for when you need a break from studying. The library is spacious, with plenty of PCs and a comfortable space to work. Staff are always happy to help if you need any additional support. The Students' Union is a really fun place to socialise, offering quiz nights and karaoke. For special events, such as summer's Final Fling there is live music from great artists.
Middlesbrough has a lot to offer, it’s honest, unpretentious, and rich with history and artistic appeal. Baker Street has hip and trendy independent pubs, the town is also a good place for retail. The surrounding countryside is fantastic, with Roseberry Topping and the North York Moors a 20-minute drive away.

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

I'm a member of the mixed martial arts (MMA) society. This enhanced my university experience and was an opportunity to make new friends and develop in other ways outside of academia. MMA is a really challenging and demanding sport, so it’s been rewarding to overcome boundaries and become fitter and more disciplined.

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

I’ve gained skills in writing for multiple purposes, such as reviews, reflective writing and study guides, so I would feel comfortable with writing in the workplace. Being organised, meeting deadlines, arranging meetings, referencing and formal communication with peers are all transferable skills I’ve developed. I have also gained teaching skills through delivering papers and presentations.
I'm currently studying MA English and I preparing for my upcoming graduate conference and dissertation. I am considering a PhD and I would also like to gain some experience teaching English. I also want to write for a living.

Would you recommend Teesside University?

Yes, the teaching staff are fantastic, the course is accessible and fun, yet suitably challenging and mind-opening. It’s also very current and relevant. The set texts are often eclectic and at times obscure. Seminars provide a stimulating, dynamic and pleasantly social learning environment where ideas can be freely exchanged.
For anyone thinking of coming here, I would say fully utilise all the resources and services on offer. Get to know how to use the library, attend skills seminars and book clubs, engage with societies and clubs, go to social events, and fully commit to your course. If you're struggling with anything, feel free to ask for help, from tutors or well-being services.

Teesside provides everything you'd want from a university experience - academically, socially and practically, and you feel at home.