Laura Blair graduated from our MA in the History of the Book in 2017. Watch or read here what she has to say about the programme and the Institute of English Studies.

Following graduation from the MA History of the Book programme, Laura was awarded a fully-funded Wellcome Trust Doctoral Studentship to study for a PhD at Queen Mary, University of London. Her research topic explores reading practices and patient libraries in nineteenth-century British asylums.

What course did you study?
I did the MA in the History of the Book.

What interested you in this course?
So, I did English as an undergrad and I felt that it didn't really give everything that I wanted out my English degree and the MA History of the Book programme here was one of the only ones in the country that actually offered some of the things that I was interested in. It's a really unique program and it's also a really great place for research as well which is really important to me.

What made you choose the University of London?
Probably the fact that the lecturers that we had came from such a wide variety of fields in the history of the book. I got taught by some of the biggest names in book history which is a really amazing opportunity, something that a lot of people studying masters programs don't get and they come from all kinds of different universities as well as visitors so that was really exciting.

What was your experience of this course like?
I've been really, really happy with everybody that I've worked with and everyone's been really, really supportive and it's just been a really enjoyable degree as well. I have friends doing master's programs they found very stressful but here I kind of was reluctant to leave because I've enjoyed it so much so.

Did you enjoy studying in London?
I'm biased I love London so much anyway, I studied here for my undergrad and I think it's just you have so many you meet so many different people it's a real melting pot and that's really exciting. It's really good for research because you get to consider perspectives that you might not have necessarily encountered anywhere else. It's also got such amazing facilities, I love museums and the archives and London is filled with those so it's perfect for me.

What’s next?
So I'm currently applying for my PhD and I'm also doing some work on a research project here at the University and working in some museums as well.

Are you applying for your PhD at the School of Advanced Study?
Yeah I will be applying here, yeah can't get rid of me yet!