A favourite quote and a way by which to approach life.

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Friday, 16 April 2010


In amongst all the health stuff I'm still doing my studies with the Open University, and in fact this module (Children's Literature) is almost over. Only six weeks left until the End of Course Assessment is due in! And this is the last course that counts towards the classification of degree I'll get as the last course I have left to do is actually the foundation course that I didn't do at the beginning of it all, and foundation courses are only pass or fail. Presuming I pass my current course (which I will unless something goes terribly, terribly wrong with the ECA) and the foundation course (which I'm sure I will) then I'm guaranteed at least a 2:1 in my degree, and that's if I get a low Third on the children's literature course. Anything above a low Third on this course and I get a First in my degree ... and so far I'm heading for a First in this module :o) There are no guarantees though so I'm not letting up the pressure on myself. Yup, I'm a glutton for punishment.

I've been wondering what to do after I get my degree, given that I can't work because of my health and that I'm loving the fact that I'm finally achieving my academic potential. I had been planning on going on to do an MA in Creative Writing with the Open University, which was due to start in October 2011, but the OU have withdrawn this proposed course so I was a bit stuck and had to start thinking again. The other complicating factor is that I've found the children's literature course so fascinating that I've been wondering about taking my studies with that further, and I know from a one day conference on children's literature that I attended at Newcastle University that they (Ncl Uni) do an MLitt in English Literature specialising in Children's Literature. I spoke to my current OU tutor about my options, as he's been encouraging me to do further study in children's literature. It was a very interesting discussion that gave me even more to think about, but he thought that while the OU course in CL is a good course there are holes in its presentation of the theorists that could hamper MLitt study, so if I were to do CL at postgraduate level then I'd be better off looking for a taught MA (MLitts are self-directed research programmes), probably by distance learning. And then the doubts set in about whether or not I wanted to drop the idea of doing creative writing at postgrad level... Oh decisions, decisions. Still, there's plenty of time to think about it as I still have another year of undergraduate study to do, but as funding will be an issue and I'll need to apply for grants etc to cover the fees, then I do need to start thinking about it ... that's what I was thinking anyway...

I went on with my investigations into future study options and ended up making an appointment with one of the English professors at Newcastle University to discuss some of my options. It was most productive. It made my mind up for me. And despite the fact that I still have a year of undergraduate study to go, and that I haven't yet put in an application for postgraduate studies, I've been verbally accepted to start a Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Writing at Newcastle University ... starting this September - i.e. while I'm still doing my undergraduate studies! I'll be doing the PGC part-time to allow for the OU study I have left to do, and of course to allow for my health problems, but in the second year I may well top-up some of the study time with further postgraduate credits. I know that I'll go on from the PGC to either an MA or an MLitt, but I don't have to make my mind up at this point, and I also don't yet have to decide whether I go for creative writing or children's literature as the PGC can, apparently, contribute to either. Perfect! I rather suspect that I'll go on to further creative writing, but we'll see. In the meantime, I'm really pleased to have sorted out what I'm going to do next; amazed that I have a verbal acceptance on the PGC before putting in an application and based on my current OU achievements and one informal meeting with one of the English professors at Newcastle University; and a little bit scared about starting my postgraduate studies while I'm still an undergraduate. Now I just need to remember to put in my official application form, otherwise none of it's going to happen this year!


Anonymous said...

That's a lot of money to find - fees are £720 per year for the PGCert then jump to £2160 per year for the MA (both part-time).

BeckyG said...

It is a lot of money, yes, but there are funding options out there and it must be possible. Also, I'm fairly certain that the PGC is £720 in total. And I may be wrong about this, but as the PGC counts towards the MA/MLitt I wonder if this brings the cost of the latter down. It's still a significant amount, but others manage to raise the money, so I don't see why I can't. I'll certainly be trying.

http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/ said...

Go for it, Becky.
I just looked in to tell you that I've just created a blog. Goodness knows how I'm going to manage with my blogilliteracy!