Portrait of Ben Li

Ben Li

What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?

There are a whole host of things that I am passionate about in this subject, such as the scope for using your imagination, the interesting discussions that arise from textual analysis, and the relevance of different texts within different historical contexts. One of the most exciting things is the possibility of exploring things that you would never have even considered, both through the teaching and through hearing about the interests of your coursemates.

I was keen to go into even more depth than I had done during my undergraduate degree, so studying for a Masters seemed like a logical next step. My tutors also encouraged me to consider applying, which made me even more determined. I chose Leeds because I was impressed by the amount of choice the School of English offers, as well as the welcoming atmosphere when I visited on an open day. 

How would you describe your experience of studying at Leeds?  

I had reservations about becoming a postgraduate student and was anxious that it would be a fiercely competitive atmosphere. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was the complete opposite: everyone encourages and supports each other and I have formed a lot of strong friendships. The diversity and welcoming attitude of the student community here makes it a pleasure to be a part of.

I enjoyed the taught modules, as they allowed me to not only discuss my own ideas but also to pursue trains of thought that arose from hearing the thoughts of other students in seminars. I also enjoyed participating in the School of English's annual postgraduate conference.

The learning facilities I had available to me were excellent - countless books, journals and articles, in both physical and digital formats, provided ample content for my research. The staff are all very knowledgeable and genuinely willing to help if you need it.

What activities have you taken part in outside of your studies?

There are a huge amount of activities to participate in outside of your studies. In the School of English, there is a Postgraduate Society that meets bi-weekly to present papers and discuss them in a friendly, informal environment. There are also various societies and things going on in the city, including the annual Light Night and numerous food festivals. The city itself is an easy place to navigate and most places are accessible on foot or via the bus networks.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

I would wholeheartedly encourage them to do so and not be afraid - after studying for two years as a part-time Masters Student I always felt involved and like I was a part of the School. It was a very rewarding experience.