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Student Profiles


BA English First Year Students (2013-)


David Robson

Why did you choose QM?

I chose Queen Mary because it was one of the top Russell Group universities and the course looked like it was offering a wide variety of good material. It is also based in a good London location and has a nice campus feel to it.

What do you enjoy most about your time at QM?

The thing I am enjoying most about my time at Queen Mary is the opportunities it offers, for example being given the chance to actually go to the Globe Theatre and perform on stage is something I never thought I would be able to do as part of a course at university.

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Hanne Mørch

Why did you choose QM?

I first applied to Queen Mary University of London for its excellent academic reputation. Once I had applied I went on a tour of the school and fell in love with the campus as well.

What do you enjoy most about your time at QM?

The thing I enjoy the most is meeting people who are as passionate about literature as I am. The discussions we have in class are always incredibly interesting, and it has taught me to look at literature in completely different ways. In addition, there is always something going on at campus, and seeing as everyone is very friendly it is easy to meet new people.

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BA English Second Year Students (2012-)


Sophie Fordham

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

For many of the students here, studying in the capital was a huge part of why they decided to choose Queen Mary. For me, it was an added bonus. London is indisputably incredible and I, being creatively and culturally driven, love the East End, but what I initially looked for when choosing a place to study was not largely focussed on location. I chose QMUL due to the high quality of teaching and because the philosophy of the English department aligned with my own creative, independent, and passionate attitude to education.

What has been the highlight of your time at Queen Mary so far?

Meeting so many International students and forming what will hopefully be lifelong connections with them has been the highlight of my time on campus so far - I have never met such a diverse, amazing range of people.

How have you found life on campus?

Life on campus is so much fun. There is so much going on and so many awesome societies that provide you with extraordinary opportunities that you just don't have such plentiful access to anywhere else - participating in the Water City Music Festival was a particular highlight.

What has surprised you most about your course?

How both the lecturers and seminar leaders on my course seem to make even the areas of literature that may initially sound intimidating or unappealing, fascinate me.

Which of the modules that you've studied so far has been your favourite?

It would have to be a toss-up between Shakespeare and Literatures in Time. The lectures for Shakespeare are seriously captivating. The lecturers surprise me by continually illuminating aspects of each play that I never knew existed - that's what I really delight in, learning new things about things you thought you (somewhat) knew. Lits in Time is awesome because I have never studied anything pre-Shakespeare, so every time I manage to decode a poem I feel a small, yet significant, sense of achievement. I also feel a lot more knowledgeable in general now, which is always an advantage.

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Becky Hipkiss

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

It is one of the top universities in the country to study English at and plus, it's in London! You can't miss the opportunity to study English in the vibrant capital of country. It also has the added bonus of a campus lifestyle which is really friendly.

What has been the highlight of your time at Queen Mary so far?

My highlight is definitely the tickets the Department of English provided for first years to go and watch Twelfth Night and Richard III at the Globe Theatre; it was an amazing experience.

How have you found life on campus?

I love living on campus, my flat is amazing and we eat together every night like one big family. Sounds cliche, but you definitely make friends for life at university. The campus is modern and has everything you need on your doorstep.

What has surprised you most about your course?

How passionate the lecturers are and the depth we study in - if you love English, it's perfect. You get the chance to study among those who are equally as passionate about literature as you. I'm also suprised by how much support you get from staff; independent study is crucial but there is always help when you need it.

Which of the modules that you've studied so far has been your favourite?

I enjoy all of them but Narrative is really good. I like how it gets back to the basics of literary study: read a book and then discuss, analyse and pick it apart until you really understand it. The seminars are fun as everyone pitches in their own ideas and the books we study are diverse, so you end up reading something you might not have considered before.

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Miranda Black

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

I was drawn to Queen Mary because of the reputation of the English department, and the quality of its teaching staff.

What has been the highlight of your time at Queen Mary so far?

The change from a restricted secondary school environment, to a relaxed seminar environment in which people are eager to discuss a range of topics.

How have you found life on campus?

There’s always somewhere to go, be it the silent study area in the library, or to Ground cafe with my friends. There are plenty of societies to get involved in. I’ve been taking part in one-off volunteering days, so I am able to help out when I can.

What has surprised you most about your course?

I was surprised by the amount of texts that we cover on the course, it is a much faster pace than A-level, but with such a rewarding breadth. I had expected to find the transition to one subject tedious, but am thoroughly enjoying the range of modules.

Which of the modules that you've studied so far has been your favourite?

I’ve really enjoyed Literatures in Time; Chaucer sometimes felt overwhelming at A-level, but we approach each text in a lively, interactive way.

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Rabia Ahmed

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

I chose to study at Queen Mary due to its high reputation in supporting their students through their degree and because it is a new member of the Russell Group, which further illustrates its excellence as an academic institution. It also has a great location in the heart of East London, which is culturally diverse and gives you a great chance to meet people from all walks of life.

What has been the highlight of your time at Queen Mary so far?

The highlight of my time at Queen Mary has been the seminars. The seminar leaders in English at Queen Mary are constantly pushing you as an academic and also make the intensive work seem more interesting by inviting you to engage in the debates surrounding it. The discussions and debates that take place in seminars are definitely lively and constantly challenge your perceptions about certain topics.

How have you found life on campus?

Life on campus had been great because it has everything on site, which means you don't have to travel outside of university to get what you need! You are constantly meeting new people and the friendly atmosphere around campus definitely is a highlight.

What has surprised you most about your course?

The thing that has surprised me most is the broad spectrum of literature that we cover in English. We start from medieval literature and end up with post-colonial literature all in the space of a few weeks! Covering such a vast time period keeps everything fresh and exciting.

Which of the modules that you've studied so far has been your favourite?

Literatures In Time has been my favourite module because I have gained an interest in medieval literature, which I did not have the opportunity to study before coming to Queen Mary. You find yourself being able to read texts in Middle English and engage with them, and are constantly immersed in fantastical tales such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight or Beowulf.

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BA English Final Year Students (2011-)


Luke Richmond

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

My old English teacher went to QM and recommended that I consider looking at it. It was the first university I visited and I just got a very good feeling about it - no other universities that I visited matched the positive and homely impression QM left on me. The lecturers struck me as friendly but serious about their subjects which is something that I thought was really important: there's no point having an insanely clever teacher if you're too scared to talk to them!

What has been the highlight of your time at Queen Mary so far?

My highlights are rooted in the academic challenges that my courses have presented to me. I love having my ideas challenged and being in the company of people who are eager to get into a debate with you. This doesn't just apply to seminars - even outside of classes I've found that there's such a diverse mix of people and opinions. It's refreshing considering I came from a place where pretty much everyone was the same!

How have you found life on campus?

Campus is great! I think there's something really nice about going to a campus university. There's not many other campus-based universities in London and having spoken to friends elsewhere I feel that I've got the best deal. It means that the university isn't just a place of study, it's also highly social. In the summer everyone sits by the canal and when you are living on campus you are literally a stone's throw away from your lectures.

What has surprised you most about your course?

The diversity of the first year. I came to university from Sixth Form thinking I knew what I liked in literature. Poetry wasn't really for me and I wouldn't touch medieval literature with a bargepole. However having done modules specializing in these areas of English Literature in the first year, I've really changed my mind and I got my highest marks in those areas and decided to take some medieval modules in the second year.

Which of the modules you've studied so far has been your favourite?

My favourite module thus far is probably ESH271: James Baldwin and American Civil Rights Movement. It's a bit of an odd one out compared to my other modules but is my favourite because James Baldwin is an incredibly talented writer and it was such a pleasant surprise. I decided to take the module last minute and didn't really do my research - it turned out that I was very lucky! His perspective on America, blackness, and homosexuality generate thoughtful discussions every week and I look forward to doing the reading and attending the lectures. 

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Joint Honours Students


Mya Medina

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

From doing some extensive research about Queen Mary College, I knew that it was perfect for me; the only campus university in London - practically guaranteeing a buzzing social life - and the best university for my course, Drama. Queen Mary not only has an immaculate teaching staff, but so many available academic resources for when I need to do my own research. The people and possibilities seemed widely diverse, and Queen Mary appear to take a fresh approach to education.

What has been the highlight of your time at Queen Mary so far?

My highlight at Queen Mary so far consists of my participation in a number of plays, not only on my course, but also part of the Queen Mary Theatre Company and Players. I also enjoy occupying the role of Drama Course Representative - knowing that I can structure the course positively in response to feedback from my fellow peers.

How have you found life on campus?

Life on campus is exciting! Constantly evolving, with fresh opportunities arising all the time. The proximity between everything is wonderful too; with the local Italian restaurant being across the square from the library. So I eat pizza while dreaming of study...

What has surprised you most about your course?

The most surprising thing about my course is the overwhelming balance between independence and support. We are always encouraged to do our own reading and research, but the amount of office hours provided by our mentors to take our questions is so convenient and encouraging. The Drama facilities are amazing as well, containing a wide range of rehearsal spaces and an adaptable black box theatre; The Pinter.

Which of the modules that you've studied so far has been your favourite?

My favourite module at the moment would have to be Writing Now; focusing on literature published within the last three years, we learn about the modern tropes of writing, while learning to develop our own reading lists. Students are also able to cultivate an idea as to how to write the modern novel, through surrounding ourselves with contemporary texts.

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Wai Wan Choy

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

I decided to choose Queen Mary because of its course flexibility (I take Joint-Honours English and Drama) which allows me to structure my course in the 2nd and 3rd year according to my interests. I also liked the balance promised by Queen Mary with regards to learning theory and making practice, and how the university constantly pushes its students to work with the two in a constructive manner.

What has been the highlight of your time at Queen Mary so far?

My highlight of my time at Queen Mary would have been my first semester and performances both within the modules, and as part of the Queen Mary Theatre Company. In just one semester last year, I ran tech for a full-length play, performed in an ensemble performance of Bryony Lavery's 'It Snows', and made a Bunraku-styled puppet performance for the module Making Theatre Work.

How have you found life on campus?

Campus life has been exciting, friendly, and amazing. Queen Mary is known for its diversity not just in terms of demographics but also in terms of its students' interests and activities. The students constantly engage in events and projects outside of their curriculum and this makes Queen Mary a really special place to be.

What has surprised you most about your course?

Though I did expect university to be challenging and difficult, my course surprised me the most with its engagement with its students. The modules that I have taken often push its students to develop themselves to create, adapt, and adopt methodology which they can then frame their personal styles around. The teaching staff and student culture here help a lot in creating an atmosphere where students are given support and courage to develop themselves in the way that best suits them.

Which of the modules that you've studied so far has been your favourite?

My favourite module so far has been Costume Drama. The module engages with costumes in period dramas as well as in other mediums such as theatre performances and museums in an interesting and exciting manner. The portfolio assignment was extremely fun and rewarding to make as we each became mini-experts in a particular type or period of costume and then had the opportunity to design for the stage as well.

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Alumni


Ruth Ingamells

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

I chose to study at Queen Mary because I was interested in studying forms of narrative and exploring literary theory. I liked the wide range of topics, and the stress on coursework rather than exams.

What has been the highlight of your time at Queen Mary so far?

The highlight of my time at Queen Mary has been the hands-on attitude to my dissertation. It by no means has been a spoon-feeding experience, but I have enjoyed the help and have greatly appreciated the advice I have been given. Overall, Queen Mary has helped me become an all-round better scholar.

How have you found life on campus?

I have really enjoyed my time on campus, especially because it means less travel. Having a campus university means it’s easier to make friends and see tutors.

What has surprised you most about your course?

The wide range of topics I didn’t even know existed.

Which of the modules that you've studied so far has been your favourite?

‘Time, Narrative, and Culture’, ‘Post-Colonial Literature’ and ‘Palestine/Israel’, because I love the literature studied on these modules, and the way each one bleeds into modern political and philosophical thought.

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Samuel Stensland

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

The English Department seemed to allow lots of choice as to which path of interest you want to follow; this was hugely different at other universities.

What has been the highlight of your time at Queen Mary so far?

Some of the relationships with staff and fellow students have been really warm and rewarding, making the days and the pressure easier.

What has surprised you most about your course?

It has been incredibly intellectually stimulating, varied in approach, and there has been lots of open discussion.

Which of the modules that you've studied so far has been your favourite?

Either ‘Samuel Beckett’ or ‘Art Histories’. ‘Beckett’ because of a close interaction with one another and also a subverting of my preconceptions. ‘Art Histories’ because it opened my eyes to the idea that everything is a text, everything is written, and the joy and skills of literature analysis can be applied everywhere.

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Lottie Lee-Gough

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

When I applied, Queen Mary was rated highly for its English Department. Being a campus university was also an important factor for me.

What has been the highlight of your time at Queen Mary so far?

Writing my dissertation. The support we get is amazing. The clinics, retreats, and feedback from lecturers has been massively inspiring and useful.

How have you found life on campus?

Being a campus university gives a great sense of community. The English Department reception means you always know where to go for help.

What has surprised you most about your course?

The quality of the English lectures. Lecturers are generous with their time and intellect to really help you understand and love the texts you are reading.

Which of the modules that you've studied so far has been your favourite?

‘Writing the First World War’. Nadia Atia is awesome. I couldn’t wait to read the novels each week because I knew the lecture would be so enlightening. She also organized trips to the Imperial War Museum with a private viewing in the cinema, and a day trip to Belgium!

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