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Student Zoey is photographed with a smile as she poses for a photo. This is a guest blog post by Zoey Bonfante, sharing her experience of studying MA English & Literary Media with the Faculty of Media & Communication. Zoey completed her Bachelor’s degree in English at Rosemont College in the US. Zoey moved from Philadelphia to study in the UK. 

As someone who graduated university almost a decade ago, returning to academia was a daunting prospect, especially doing so internationally. However, the Bournemouth University offerings and the program specifications of the MA English & Literary Media alleviated all of those initial fears. Now that I am more than halfway through, I couldn’t be happier with my experience.

The MA program description is what originally convinced me to apply to BU, due to the uniqueness of its multimedia focus. The units (three each in semesters one and two) combine elements of a traditional English MA (literary theory and texts that make up the classic English canon), with elements of new media (such as movies/tv and video games) and technology (like social media and its effects on the publishing industry). The result is a degree that is fit for real world application in the modern landscape of many diverse media and publishing driven fields. Personally, my favourite units have been Publishing Cultures and Materialities, which looks at the history of publishing and its role today, and Narrating Identities, which explores the literary theories behind the creation of identity via a number of classic and modern texts, spanning from The Diary of Virginia Woolf to The Lego Batman movie.

Photographed is Bournemouth Beach, the sky is blue and peppered with whispy clouds.

Other contributing factors to my choice to study at Bournemouth University include the length and cost of the program, and the location of the university itself. Bournemouth is a lovely town right on the water. It’s been great being able to walk to the beach, and I love that there are several nearby locations (like Bath, Salisbury, and others) that can be accessed via train, making for a fun day trip.

While I have enjoyed my experience so far, there definitely have been some growing pains. Having completed my undergraduate studies in the United States, the structure and philosophy of a UK education is quite different, as independent study is much more valued than it is in the US. Some additional differences include the number of assignments (one or two per unit) and having in-class time split between lectures and seminars. The assignment deadlines tend to all be very close to each other towards the end of each semester, which means that it is imperative to practice smart time management in order to avoid unnecessary stress all at once. This will be especially important for the dissertation, which the third semester is dedicated to. Personally, one of the things helping with time management has been becoming a Student Ambassador, as the flexible schedule allows me to work whenever it is best for me, while also creating some structure to my week that would otherwise be a little all over the place.

So far, I am enjoying my time here and can already see the benefit of the MA, and I know I have gained marketable skills that will help in my career once my studies are complete.Student Zoey photographed on a sunny day in front of Heritage site Stone Henge.

For anyone considering this degree, I would say be present both physically and mentally the year goes by fast so it’s imperative to be here attending all of the classes and available tutorials.


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