Rose Gant

BA (Hons) English, Class of 2021 and MA Creative & Critical Writing, Class of 2022

It is funny to imagine at the end of four years studying at Suffolk that I once hesitated at the thought of attending university, and now I do not ever want to leave academia! Despite a lack of confidence in my writing following a disheartening couple of years studying towards my A Levels, I attended an open day to explore my options for further study. Upon meeting the English course team, I knew I had found the course to reignite my passion to learn. Their enthusiasm for both teaching and literature was so inspiring, and it was not long before my own research interests began to bloom.

On the BA, one of my earliest modules explored a variety of critical responses to Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Fittingly this module shaped my undergraduate studies, as whilst I was familiar with the writing of the Brontë family it was residing closely to Emily’s passion and pain within her fictional worlds that kindled my desire to engage further with her life and work. This led to my undergraduate dissertation which explored Brontë's poetry alongside Emily Dickinson’s and not only the immense influence of Brontë's work, but also how both women’s connections to their natural surroundings allowed them to freely showcase their voices through their writing, despite the patriarchal restraints of Victorian society.

Completing this project in the height of various lockdowns meant that more than ever I drew closer to my studies and the words of both Emilys. Truly, their poetry and the continued support of the course team meant I was able to continue to grow my writing practice from the confines of my desk. It was during these prolonged periods of independent study that I knew I was on the precipice of my academic journey, and that I had to continue studying.

Applying for the MA in Creative and Critical Writing was the easiest decision I have ever made. Another year studying at Suffolk with the most encouraging course team was the dream scenario to grow my passion for research, furthering my love of the Brontës. The assignments for the MA were largely comprised of independent study, which I was well equipped for following a year in lockdown. One major benefit of choosing the focus for your assignments means that each module can be adapted to reflect your research interests. As I delved deeper into the lives of the Brontës, my love for one family member surpassed all others. I was drawn to Branwell, seeking to understand his mistreatment by scholars over time, which I was able to adapt for each assignment furthering my understanding of his life and writing.

However, for the Writer in Residence module I chose to pursue an alternate passion project, working with Ipswich Museum and Christchurch Mansion. When proposing your ideal residency my mind immediately went to the Museum, which I have visited my whole life and remains to be some of my favourite places in Ipswich. For my residency, I was fortunate enough to be accepted as the Writer in Residence for the Creating Constable exhibition at Christchurch Mansion, through which I wanted to explore visitor’s connections to their local surroundings, inspired by the local scenes depicted in the paintings.

Following my residency, I was offered a job working at both Ipswich Museum and Christchurch Mansion, which I began upon finishing my MA. My role is primarily based in visitor services, but I have been given many other amazing opportunities within the role, including delivering workshops to local schools. I am so grateful every day to be able to work in such magnificent buildings that I adore so much. The job perfectly combines love for history and passion for helping others. I am also currently working on my PhD proposal, which I am hoping to complete at Suffolk.

I cannot recommend the university and the English team more highly as without them I truly would not have grown in my writing, confidence and passion for research over the past four years.

Find the latest information for our courses in BA (Hons) English or our MA Creative and Critical Writing.

"Applying for the MA in Creative and Critical Writing was the easiest decision I have ever made"

Rose Gant