"The relationships I have developed across the department and with my peers have opened many doors in terms of research collaboration and peer support."

"I began my higher education at Bournemouth University where I studied Multi-media Journalism for a year, but decided it was not for me. I was accepted at Surrey for the English Literature BA programmeand have been here ever since. I followed up my BA with an MA in English Literature.

It wasn’t until I began my BA in English Literature that my literary tastes began to take shape and it wasn’t until my final year that I realised American literature was my passion.

Stag
Emily Fisher

 I think the moment I realised I couldn’t imagine working on anything else was when I finished William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (1930) and attempted to write an essay on the complex and challenging novel.

The experience of having to undertake in-depth research in order to begin to comprehend Faulkner’s narrative was so rewarding and offered a glimpse of what I would end up devoting my life to. Although over time my tastes became more contemporary, my love of novels that offer a challenge to the reader and a certain level of incomprehensibility has not diminished.

Additionally, another vital consideration when deciding to do the PhD was to give me the tools and opportunity to teach students in higher education (HE). I believe that the passion I have for the subject and my previous teaching experience, which I found incredibly rewarding, would make teaching in tertiary education the perfect career choice. So far, this has definitely been the case and I have enjoyed teaching as much, if not more, than the research element of my PhD. I am eager to develop my own modules that reflect my research interests in the future.

I wanted to pursue a career in academia but was unsure as to whether I could successfully complete a PhD, but my MA dissertation supervisors encouraged me to apply. I found the English department to be collegiate, supportive and always felt valued as a student by the faculty.

"The PhD process at Surrey has been extremely rewarding and as I come to the end of my programme I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that the University has provided me with."

 

Having watched the department grow and the University climb the league tables, it made sense for me to remain at Surrey to complete my studies.

In particular, the experience I have gained through teaching the undergraduates, and also being able to take part in a vast array of training and development opportunities, has been an invaluable tool in moulding my academic career beyond my PhD.

In particular, the experience I have gained through teaching the undergraduates, and also being able to take part in a vast array of training and development opportunities, has been an invaluable tool in moulding my academic career beyond my PhD.

My supervisor has offered continual support and encouragement for the duration of my studies as he supervised my MA dissertation before my PhD. I am extremely grateful for the time he has invested both into my work and in preparing me for a career in academia.

As I have TECHNE funding I have been lucky enough to have access to a range of facilities and resources that have greatly enhanced my PhD experience. For example, the Universities that form the TECHNE DTP organise two congresses each year which allow for training, development and networking with other PGRs, whilst also offering extra funding for research trips, placements, conferences etc.

At Surrey I have attended many Researcher Development Programme and CPD training programmes to develop my skills as both a researcher and a seminar tutor. I will also be taking part in the Graduate Certificate scheme, which is a HE teaching qualification that will boost my CV when applying for jobs once my PhD has been completed.

Due to the TECHNE funding I receive I have had ample opportunity for collaboration, and organised an international conference held at Surrey in 2016. I am also working towards launching a digital conference in collaboration with another PGR from a different institution through TECHNE.

"The relationships I have developed across the Department and with my peers have opened many doors in terms of research collaboration and peer support."

 

At Surrey I, along with other PGRs in the department, have actively sought to create a stronger research community and have arranged educational seminars, peer feedback sessions in which we present our current research, and social events. 

I was born in Surrey and have lived here ever since so I knew the area before I began my studies.

However, having an affiliation with the University has meant that I can use valuable resources, such as the British Library, without having to travel very far.

I hope to pursue an academic career following the completion of my PhD. I am especially keen to continue teaching in HE and look forward to developing my own module whilst publishing my research. Having taken a Global Graduate Award in Spanish whilst at Surrey, I also hope to teach at a University in Spain as part of an exchange programme, with the aim of improving my language skills to becoming fluent."

Explore our English literature and creative writing programmes, including our PhD in English Literature.