We caught up with Shirley Lloyd, a Postgraduate student on our MA Creative Writing course, to get some insight into her experience at Birmingham City University and what attracted her to our course.
1. Can you tell me why you decided to join the course and why did you choose BCU?
I decided to apply for the MA in Creative Writing course as it had been a dream of mine for some years, to fully immerse myself into the world of writing. Then the dream became a promise to myself which came to fruition. I chose BCU because the creative writing course offers a spectrum of fiction and non-fiction writing modules. I knew I would be taken out of my comfort zone which is something I found appealing. I was also impressed with the English Faculty senior staff whom I met prior to applying for the course. The genuine passion they showed for the course was enough to convince me that BCU was the university for me.
Plus, I am a BCU alumni student. I achieved my Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) qualification here in 1998. So it was like coming home.
2. How did you find the course and what is the main thing that you will take away with you?
The course is incredibly informative, energetic and exciting. I looked forward to attending the lectures every week. The wealth of knowledge and experience of the lecturers is vast which made for a truly satisfying experience.
One of the many things I will take away with me is how supportive the faculty lecturers and non-teaching staff are. They make it their mission to ensure the student experience is the best it can be. The staff are approachable and demonstrate that the welfare for their students is important.
3. What are your aims for the future and how has the course helped you with this?
My aims now are to pursue my love of writing, with the confidence that this course has helped me to develop, especially as a writer of plays for the stage and radio.
As a result of the course I have been introduced to and been able to work with a number of key individuals and organisations. These important links will enable me to continue to develop and eventually fulfil my writing ambitions.
4. How did it feel coming back to study as an MA student?
I have been a qualified secondary teacher since 1998. In that time I have had many teaching experiences which even included teaching overseas. Teaching is a very rewarding profession but it can also be a demanding and sometimes stressful one. It came to a point that I felt it was time to take a break from the classroom. My decision to return to study for an MA was a very easy one because I saw it as a gift to myself.
5. What advice would you give to people who are currently thinking about joining the course but who are unsure?
I would advise anyone deciding to join this course to:
Arrange for an informal meeting with a senior member of the English Faculty.
Attend the open days as they are very informative.
If they are not already an avid reader, become one!
6. How have the lecturers supported you through your development?
The lecturers and non-teaching staff have been incredibly supportive on a number levels. As I have already mentioned the welfare of their students is a priority, and on this I speak from personal experience.