Student profile
Garth Wenman-James

Garth Wenman-James

"I really feel that by taking my English Literature MA at Surrey, I have pushed myself to improve and to refine my skills in preparation for my career."

Entry year
2017

"Surrey was my number one choice for an English Literature MA due to the fantastic variety of modules offered, combined with the amazing environment the School of Literature and Languages provides.

Modules like ‘Research and Writing Skills’ helped me to improve the technical and practical aspects of my writing, while modules on the medieval, Victorian and modernist periods increased my knowledge of these eras. Having studied at Surrey for my BA, I knew that the masters course would not only teach me new skills and information, but I would also have the privilege of working in an inspiring and innovative environment.

Studying English literature provides a gateway to so many other disciplines and ways of thinking. Whether that’s through poetry, plays, screenplays, short stories or novels, literature acts as a sort of crossroads with other cultures and historical periods. I’m passionate about English literature because of how much it has broadened my perspective of my own time and place, and how it has allowed me to access other forms of knowledge as well as different textual worlds and historical moments.

The aspect of my course I enjoy most is… reading! Experiencing the raw material of a text before the lectures, seminars and research is a real joy. The act of reading crafts a personal understanding of a text, and taking my own perspective to a seminar and hearing the views of my peers is a really positive experience. 

Surrey’s grounds are also gorgeous! Hillside restaurant and Lakeside café are two of my favourite places on campus, offering good food and great coffee. Guildford itself is also great for shopping, it has everything you might need whether you’re living on campus or just stopping by for some essentials. It also boasts some great food spots! A particular favourite of mine is The Tea Terrace, which offers some amazing afternoon tea and plenty of good cake.

"The academic staff have been excellent, helping me to hone my research, writing and networking skills."

Over the course of my postgraduate experience at Surrey, my department and modules have helped me to feel more prepared for my future career. The academic staff have been excellent, helping me to hone my research, writing and networking skills.

I have also learnt to really enjoy writing. The MA made me less anxious about approaching deadlines, and instead taught me to enjoy the process of writing and refining my research.

I am really proud of how my writing style has improved during my time as a postgraduate, having learnt to identify the weaknesses in how I write. Articulating my thoughts has always been something I’ve struggled with and, with the help of staff, this ability has come far since the end of my BA. The MA has really helped to identify problems in my writing and come up with effective solutions. 

I am now completing my English Literature PhD at Surrey, and the networking opportunities and training provided by the staff have greatly prepared me for this experience. Once my PhD is complete, I intend to enter a career as an academic at a university. My experiences in Surrey’s innovative research environment have not only prepared me for my PhD but also for my future career, providing me with the tools and experience necessary for a career in academia.

My time at Surrey has helped me grow both personally and as an academic. I really feel that by taking my English Literature MA at Surrey I have pushed myself to improve and to refine my skills in preparation for my career, and this is largely due to the supportive community offered by the staff and my peers. Ultimately, Surrey’s English Literature MA not only offers insightful modules but also a fantastic chance for personal and professional development."

 

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