• Andy Whysall

Maybe more academia for the future...we'll have to see

I'm fascinated at how I've taken to the academic thing. A duck-to-water thing. Five years ago I was going 'Oh my god, why do they write like this?' when my son-in-law was asking me to proof-read an essay. Now I find I even think like it. A big part of the attraction is, similarly in journalism for me at least, that I simply get to know more about a subject that has been half my life.

That Science Museum job that I 'applied for' for my mock interview in Professional Development would have been great for me; if only they'd advertised it a couple of months later. But at the same time the academic thing has really got hold of me and an MA is calling...but wait! Over there is a PhD...

It was flagged up in the weekly missive from our course leader. It's a massively attractive prospect and right up my street on subject matter - researching popular photography to improve its position in the overall history of photography. The idea is to use the Kodak collection at the Media Museum at Bradford as the starting point (it's a long and involved explanation that you don't need).

I emailed the PhD supervisors at Brighton University, who are running it with the Media Museum, and suggested that I might be jumping the gun on this, but the advert did say 'MA or equivalent professional experience'. They said what I expected - that, not having an MA or MPhil, I need to persuade the funding body, through my application that I can write, research and think at that level. It's a challenge and I'm up for it. The application deadline is 27 May. I'll get back to you.

Failing that, the MA is a realistic direction to head in and I can leave it till, say, August to apply. I have the option of doing it part-time for two years. We shall see.

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