MA in Modern Languages
As part of my undergraduate degree I spent a year studying in Germany. Indeed a desire to return to work on the continent is largely what informed my decision to do a Masters. (Although Bachelor degrees are being introduced across Europe, a level more or less equivalent to Masters is still generally expected for “Graduate level entry”). I did contemplate following a Masters programme in Germany, but found that few universities offered courses with the level of interdisciplinary dynamism that British ones tend to. Once I found the MA Modern Languages course at Bristol and the pathway in War and Culture, I realised anything else would be a compromise. I remember saying that if I could design my perfect course, this would be it.
Bristol seems very much aware of the changing educational landscape. Courses are keen to include transferable skills as well as a solid foundation. My undergraduate degree was very much 20th century which was part of the reason I chose it, as it was I thought “more relevant” to my experience. However, I am now discovering how wrong I was, as more is opened up to me.
The Graduate School is an excellent facility providing for a focal point and a “home” at university. There are also a plethora of fascinating seminars and workshops. A tutor recently commented that I was “everywhere”. Seminars mean you gain an insight into many different areas and allow you to really feel part of a community. In a time when higher education, especially the humanities, is facing unprecedented challenges, Bristol is responding with inspiring tenacity. Bristol’s dedicated humanities research body, BIRTHA, actively supports this creative environment.
By far the thing that stands out most about my experience as a postgraduate at Bristol is the tireless enthusiasm of the staff and their seemingly boundless knowledge. This combination means you can really indulge your inner geek! For me, this is what being a postgraduate is all about. Attending seminars from other subject areas means you’re in little danger of becoming stuck in your own little world and listening to people passionate about their subject makes reading reams an activity to aspire to rather than dread.
Bristol is a fantastically diverse city. There’s everything from the more traditional air of Clifton to the more youthful energy of Gloucester Road. My favourite place in Bristol is definitely the water’s edge. I used to live on the coast in Germany and my mum grew up in Newcastle, so having an element of that a couple of minutes from my flat is great.
My advice would be to decide what you want from a Masters. For me, my Masters represents an opportunity to devote time to what really fascinates me and to strengthen my CV with a view to working in intercultural relations and competing with the rest of Europe.