Benjamin Noad

MLitt Gothic Imagination

In 2013, I came to the University of Stirling to study what is certainly one of the more uniquely available taught postgraduate courses. The MLitt in the Gothic Imagination provided me with an unforgettable experience: not only did this programme inspire me with exciting new avenues for Gothic related research, but it has proved to be one of the most enjoyable and valuable years of my life so far. It is no exaggeration to speak of the continuous support and interest that I received throughout my studies. The MLitt in the Gothic Imagination is a genuinely wonderful opportunity, one which I cannot speak highly enough of. I thoroughly recommend it to any prospective researchers.

The content of the course is extensive and consistently fascinating. Beginning with a detailed history concerning the origins of the Gothic mode, the programme then branches out into a detailed analysis of Gothic’s modern and contemporary cultural forms. There is so much flexibility and a wealth of diverse topics to inspire independent research. One of the aspects I most enjoyed about this course was the freedom to limitlessly explore the areas of Gothic that I was most interested in. I was always encouraged by my supervisors, who always made time for their students. Key debates and theoretical consideration of Gothic’s varied motifs are introduced in this course, in detailed yet engaging discussions. Regular Gothic Reading Groups were held throughout the year, and provided a forum for passionate Gothic ideas to manifest outside the seminar room. These events were often complimented by a glass of wine, or a trip to the pub! These occasions prove that this course does a good job of networking Gothic scholars so that the postgraduate experience here, at Stirling, is never a lonely one. There are also opportunities for theatre trips, conferences, and a wealth of wider curriculum activities.

The University of Stirling itself is truly beautiful. The loch is overlooked by mountains and a castle, which provide an inspiring and appropriate sublime environment for Gothic study. Furthermore, the Arts and Humanities Department arrange a number of different workshops to enhance the skills of the university’s researchers. These events are excellent inductions in training postgraduate researchers, and they really do inspire confidence. Stirling is a wonderful location with easy train access to the National Library of Scotland. The university’s own library has some fascinating archival resources, making the University of Stirling an especially original place to study. To summarise, the MLitt in the Gothic Imagination means being able to work alongside world-leading Gothic scholars at an institution which boasts stunning landscapes and provides its students with the means for intra-disciplinary further research. It is also a place where I have formed some great friendships, and I am pleased to have been constantly enthralled by spending every day of the last year studying a subject that I love.