Niamh Mackenzie

MLitt Scottish Literature

Niamh Mackenzie

Through her undergraduate degree in Culture and Heritage, Niamh realised that her interest lied in subjects related to Scottish literature. After speaking to the course director at the University of Stirling, she felt that the course was a good fit for her.

She said: “I decided that the course at Stirling was the best way for me to progress with the topic whilst also developing a much wider knowledge of Scottish literature.”

The course was appealing to her for a variety of reasons, including the flexibility and approach to the subject for someone who doesn’t have a literature background.

Niamh added: “The course offered a broad overview of Scottish literature but with the ability to choose modules and assignments that allowed for a very focused engagement with specific ideas and texts.

“The course almost chronologically takes you through some of the most important figures and movements in Scottish Literature, spanning a long time period, but I specifically enjoyed the optional modules, for example, the importance of landscape and place within Scottish literature. The discussions surrounding these specific themes were the highlight of the course for me.”

Moving to Stirling provided Niamh with the opportunity of exploring the history and culture of the local area.

She said: “It’s great to have a range historical sites and visitor attractions within easy reach, from the Smith Art Gallery & Museum, to Stirling Castle. Stirling and the University campus are also really beautiful and it’s a lovely place to wander. When I first arrived, the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival was in full swing and so again, it was great to have so many talks and events right on my doorstep!”

Niamh praises the course balance between being friendly yet professional.

She added: “The class sizes on the Scottish literature course mean that there can be enough differing opinions to create interesting discussions led by the teaching staff who I felt were enthusiastic and encouraged us to be well prepared for our sessions. These seminars tend to be friendly and informal but if you need to go to the course staff because you’re struggling in some way, they are professional and approachable.”

Niamh advised future Stirling students to set realistic goals, spend a lot of time in the library as the reading list is sizeable but also to make sure to make space in their schedule to take a breather and enjoy their time in Stirling.