Sylvia Armstrong

MLitt Scottish Literature

Why did you decide to study a postgraduate course?

Having just completed a BA literature with the Open University I wanted to take my studies a bit further.

I was a mature student and retired so my studies were purely for interest and pleasure.

What attracted you to Stirling?

The opportunity to study Scottish literature was what first attracted me to Stirling. Scottish literature had not featured in my general degree and I was looking for something new. Added to that, Stirling was offering part time study which suited me best and the campus was not too far from my home. I also had friends and family who had enjoyed studying at Stirling in the past, so that was another recommendation.

What did you enjoy most about your time at the University of Stirling?

The course itself was interesting and challenging and that was what I enjoyed the most, but the campus facilities were also an important factor. The library in particular is so light and spacious that it was a pleasure to study there and the library staff were extremely helpful with study support. I also enjoyed meeting my fellow students each week and getting together over lunch or coffee on tutorial days.

Which aspects of the programme did you enjoy the most?

I enjoyed its wide ranging content and the interactive teaching style of the tutorials. The comprehensive selection of core texts and topics, tracing the development of Scottish literature from traditional ballads and Burns right through to 21st century novels and poetry, provided a good foundation from which each student was encouraged to explore and develop his or her own particular interests.

Do you think the degree has made you more employable, or better prepared for further study? If yes, what are the key skills? What contacts/networks have you made in your time at Stirling?

I think the degree has made me better prepared for further study. It has improved my research skills, particularly in knowing how and where to find journal articles and essays online, and has also taught me how to plan and work to a personal study programme in order to achieve goals and timelines. These two things I would consider to be key skills in any further study I may undertake in the future.

What advice would you give a student considering studying at Stirling?

Your experience at of studying at Stirling will be what you make it. There are excellent sports facilities, and plenty of opportunities to socialise through clubs and societies, but as a postgraduate student probably living off campus you can choose how involved you wish to be in extracurricular activities.

How would you summarise your time at Stirling?

Mind stretching, challenging and enjoyable. I would do it all over again!