What were your reasons for deciding to do the course?
Having already completed an M Phil in Teaching and Teacher Education, I realised that I wanted to develop my research further. I really enjoyed the M Phil and welcomed the opportunity to continue studying to doctoral level.
What have you gained from the course?
I think the main thing I have gained is confidence in my ability to compete in the academic world. I have had excellent supervision over the course of my studies which has been crucial in shaping my ability to write for academic purposes. Given that the University is such an important part of Cambridge life, I was delighted to be able to take participate in this for a period of time. Also, this doctoral study afforded me the opportunity to work with experts in my field of interest.
Did you find it difficult returning to studying later in your career? I didn't find it difficult – in fact I felt rather privileged to have the opportunity to devote time again to academic study. However, it has at times been difficult to balance the demands of family life with study such as this. You need to be very disciplined.
What is the Faculty and the University like for Graduate Students?
There is a very good network of support at the University for graduate students, where you are very much encouraged to interact with fellow students over the course of your studies. For example, there is a programme of Lunchtime Seminars operating as a postgraduate forum for PhD, MPhil and MEd students to present their work in progress. Library facilities are excellent and library staff do all they can to help you locate the resources you need.