Joshua Schouten de Jel

Joshua Schouten de Jel, BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing and MA English and Culture graduate

“I’d already completed a BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing, and having enjoyed the academic environment, I wished to continue studying at Plymouth.

Having developed a profound interest in the Romantic period during my undergraduate studies, particularly the peculiar and fascinating poetry of William Blake, the MA allowed me the space in which to develop a thesis and produce a piece of writing with which I was happy.

The MA English and Culture is an exciting, stimulating and refreshing programme, through which you can delve deeper into subject matter and tackle it with greater competence due to the skills you’ll develop. For me personally, it was an opportunity to expand upon a topic I enjoyed tackling as an undergraduate and expand my knowledge in related areas.

What most surprised me about the MA was the freedom I had to tailor my studies to my specific literary interests. The programme is both personal and professional and a great means of challenging and inspiring you to achieve much more than is possible at undergraduate level. 

During my four years at the University of Plymouth I’ve worked as a student ambassador, student mentor, editor on INK magazine, intern at Peninsula Arts, and as a contributor to The Knowledge, but I’ve also had many conversations with my lecturers regarding the avenues I could take once I graduated. We discussed the possibility of conducting a PhD, but after deciding to complete a School Direct Scheme I received encouragement to pursue this path. 

In September I’m starting the year-long School Direct scheme run through Ivybridge Community College, before going into secondary teaching. I’m toying with the thought of completing a PhD further down the line, but will definitely continue writing creatively in the years ahead.

Embrace the course and everything it has to offer: you’ll be surprised how adept you are at tackling the unfamiliar and how much you will enjoy it!”