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"When I began my time at the University of Chester, studying for the BA in English Language, I didn’t expect to survive the full three years, let alone find myself signing up for more!

Now, I’m sitting here with an MA in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Sheffield under my belt, beginning to apply for my PhD in Linguistics, and I can’t help but think that my experience could have been very different. For example, I almost didn’t end up taking English Language. When I first began visiting universities while at college, I had planned on doing Zoology – and the University of Chester was my last consideration, almost an afterthought. However, when I visited Chester for an Open Day, I was blown away, and knew immediately that this was the place that I would be living for the next three years. I’ve never been very good at making decisions, but on that day, everything fell into place. I had been torn between studying Zoology/Wildlife Conservation, Psychology, or English Language, as I was interested in all of them but couldn’t decide which to choose. But that morning, after a four-hour drive, I found myself in the English Language talk, and I will never forget the moment where everything became clear, and I knew what I was going to study. The BA in English Language ticked all the boxes for me interest-wise, and being such a diverse and multidisciplinary subject, I was never going to get bored or feel too trapped. I could not have made a better decision.

From the very first day, I was entranced by the course. Studying diverse topics, from the nature of language to sociolinguistics, from syntax to phonetics and phonology, I couldn’t get enough. And most crucially, this interest didn’t let up once in my three years at Chester. The skills I would acquire and the knowledge I would gain would later prove invaluable at postgraduate level. The BA in English Language at the University of Chester combines elements of theoretical and practical learning, with an emphasis on analytical skills and critical thinking. I developed my research skills, both in the library and online, and became familiar with critically reading journal articles. I was also taught how to analyse qualitative and quantitative data, to present data and analysis in an accurate and efficient way, and to write in a manner fitting for academic work. These are all skills that I drew upon time and time again at postgraduate level.

It would be impossible for me to write this and not mention the staff. They were incredible. They were friendly, helpful, and really knew what they were talking about. Everyone was an expert in their respective field, and they were always there if you needed to talk, or if you were confused. Had this not been the case, it might have been a very different experience.

All in all, the BA in English Language at the University of Chester was the perfect preparation for postgraduate study. When I started, I had not even contemplated postgraduate study, and now, thanks to my time at Chester, I’m preparing for my PhD. Such a diverse range of topics and sub-disciplines were covered that it was very easy to discover my niche and learn what I’m really interested in, while also studying things that I had never considered before. It was the perfect university experience, and I miss it greatly."

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English Language Bachelor of Arts student undergraduate