PhD student at the University of Groningen
After completing my Bachelor's degree programme in English Language and Culture I was on the lookout for more depth and specialization. This Research Master's track was just what I was looking for. I was also able to broaden my knowledge by following a number of private seminars and tutorials.
One of the most enjoyable and successful parts of my degree was the tutorial that I set up with my fellow students, The Skelton Project. We worked on a website with digital editions of poems by the medieval poet John Skelton. Although we’ve graduated now, we still love working on animations of Skelton’s poems. In the Research Master’s programme we didn’t just conduct research, but developed other skills too. Organizing the programme's conference in the first year, for instance, was good preparation for the organizational side of the academic world. If I hadn’t made the decision to do the Research Master’s programme in Classical, Medieval and Early Modern Studies I wouldn’t be where I am now as a PhD student at the University of Groningen. In my PhD research, I am analysing medieval manuscripts containing agricultural texts that English landowners would have read. I became interested in this topic as I was researching the development of agricultural treatises for my Master's thesis.
I choose the courses that are fitting my interests: ancient history
I applied at several universities but chose Groningen because of the interdisciplinarity of the track and the fact that in contrast to other universities, Groningen offers a two-year track instead of one. More importantly, the lesser amount of tuition fees, comparing to other countries, has been an important motivation for doing my master's degree here in the Netherlands.
The advantage of this programme is that it offers the opportunity to structure the programme as you want. I choose the courses that are fitting my interests: ancient history. Thus, I can set the focus on my own investigation, with efficient supervision: associations of the Greek and Roman cities. A great asset of the programme is that some courses include excursions to other countries. For instance, in the first semester we visited Rome and this has been a great and unique experience for me. Not only did we have the opportunity to visit a lot of sites and museums, but also to experience academic work on site, that is presenting certain monuments, in front of the monuments, rather than via a pc.
Furthermore, I find it very convenient that there are not many exams in the programme. They do not count my development as a student on a strict basis of reproducing knowledge, but they want to see my interpretation and my research. Although the programme has disadvantages sometimes, in general lines this approach is fulfilling for me. For the future I would like to continue with my research since I have plans to do a PhD.