09 October 2020

My UEA Story: Jasmin Kirkbride

Name:  Jasmin Kirkbride 

School:  School of Literature, Drama & Creative Writing

Research area: PhD in Creative and Critical Writing 

What is life as a postgraduate student at UEA like? Describe a typical day  

In a typical day, I walk to the Postgraduate Research office, where I work on my research and field issues as the GSSF rep for the School of Literature, Drama & Creative Writing until about lunchtime. I like to take sandwiches to uni and eat in the Postgraduate Research common room in the Arts and Humanities building – there’s a real sense of camaraderie and the water cooler chat is top notch! The afternoon might hold a supervision, and more writing or research, followed by tea with friends and the walk home. 

Why did you choose UEA?  

I did my MA in Creative Writing at UEA, and loved it so much I didn’t want to leave, so I decided to apply for a PhD as well. 

Any tips for choosing a project / supervisor?  

Choose someone you get on with, who’s also not going to hold any punches. You need sometimes who’s going to be supportive and make you pull your socks up. 

How is postgraduate study different to undergraduate study?   

Postgraduate study is much more independent than undergraduate study, which offers you a lot of freedom: there is no syllabus, you get to choose which direction you want to take the work in. It’s your thesis, you can work on whatever you want! 

What’s the social side like? How do you find the Postgraduate community?  

The postgraduate community at UEA is very friendly, and because I have a desk in the Postgraduate Research offices, I meet lots of researchers from other departments, which is always really interesting. I think when you’re doing a PhD, you do have to actively reach out more – not having lectures, there’s less incidental human contact – but because everyone is in the same boat, the other researchers are always keen to connect too. 

What has most surprised you about your postgraduate study at UEA?   

How much fun I’m having. A lot of people groan about research – and don’t get me wrong, it is hard work – but even on difficult days when the writing isn’t going well, the intellectual challenge of it is so engaging and interesting, I’m always totally engrossed. 

Any highlights of your experience?  

I got to present my first paper at a conference the other day and, even though it was online because of COVID-19, it was still a very proud moment. 

What would you say to someone thinking of coming to UEA?  

I can’t recommend UEA enough! 


School of Literature, Drama &
Creative Writing

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