Diane Thorpe (2011-13)


In 2011 I graduated from The University of Winchester with a BA (Hons) in Education Studies at the age of 47.  Initially I came to Winchester with the aim of getting my degree, doing a PGCE and going out into the world of teaching.  Things, however, don’t always go to plan.  The Education Studies degree covers such a wide range of topics that stimulate and intrigue you that it soon became apparent to me that this was going to be more than a means to an end.  My mind had been opened to so many philosophies not only on education that I was hungry to discover more.

There were many directions I could have taken, but the new MA programme on offer appealed to me.  I had developed an eclectic mix of areas of interest and as Modern Liberal Arts pathway is not particularly subject or time period specific, I was able to propose a very personal and unique programme of study.  Choosing to study part time means that I can take time to immerse myself  in a far less pressured way than undergraduate studies.

My first piece of work examined the philosophical life of Mary Wollstonecraft.  Although widely known as the proto-feminist, like many pioneering women she was multi-faceted, and I wanted to explore her wider contributions to society and the period of enlightenment.  Hoping also to put forward a strong challenge to the view that her only legacy was her book A Vindication of The Rights of Woman.

As my first year draws to a close I am nearing completion of a larger piece of work on the Pre-Raphaelites.  This is proving to be an immensely fulfilling topic.  I am able to combine intellectual enquiry with my own creativity and imagination.  The final piece will include a poetry portfolio and a self reflective critique alongside the main essay.  Exploring the world of Art is a totally new direction for me and that really encapsulates what Masters study can be.

Support on you journey is another strength of this programme.  Guidance and support is delivered through 1:1 tutorials and supervision.  The sessions are unique to you, tailor-made to your needs.  This makes optimum use of the skills and knowledge your subject tutor has.  This also helps you to stay on task, focused and well prepared.  Choosing the MA in Modern Liberal Arts means you have the flexibility to design a truly self-directed course of study.  I would thoroughly recommend it.