After finishing a BA (Hons) in Heritage and Tourism at Forth Valley College and the University of Stirling, I decided to continue my studies at Stirling by undertaking an MSc Heritage. This postgraduate degree expanded my understanding of the subject and improved my research skills further, which made me become more confident in exploring new approaches to heritage and developing my own ideas.
I particularly enjoyed the balance between theory and practice. The different modules helped me understand the dynamics of heritage in different contexts. I also enjoyed the fact that the Heritage department is constantly expanding its educational offer. The modules relating to museum studies were especially interesting to me. They were an outstanding addition to the course.
The flexibility of the course structure allows students to pursue their own interests. I had the opportunity to explore the connections between heritage and politics, by studying the modules on heritage and nationalism, and the role of heritage in populist movements. I have been able to engage with various aspects of Scottish history, literature and politics due to the wide choice of option modules available.
All modules offered a wealth of materials using a variety of media, from books and articles to videos and podcasts. The weekly preparatory tasks and the graded assignments involved working with diverse approaches, from writing essays and reports to producing video essays and designing interpretive boards. Working on the practical assignments has prepared us to meet the expectations of the industry.
The course is well-rounded and provided me with an in-depth understanding of the Heritage field, including insights from the industry offered by professionals directly involved with the course.
A unique feature of the Masters course is the involvement of guest speakers in each of the modules. Heritage and museum professionals offered us detailed insights into their areas of expertise. We were given the opportunity to understand various aspects of the work undertaken in the fields of heritage and museums.
I enjoyed being part of a cohort that included people with diverse backgrounds, ages and nationalities. This was a formative experience, as I encountered different perspectives that broaden my own views.
Some of the most memorable experiences were the field trips to heritage sites and museums. They were thoroughly prepared by the organisers to bring together what we have learned in each module and place it in a practical context. In addition, we enjoyed spending time together.
I benefitted from the highly professional and open approach of the Heritage academic staff who enthusiastically shared their knowledge and guidance. I felt nurtured and received a lot of encouragement.
I have now secured a studentship, with the help of my lecturers, to do a collaborative PhD project with the University of Stirling and Historic Environment Scotland focusing on the hidden stories of the collections at Trinity House in Leith.