Page content

Graduating with a Master’s in English Literature, Connor James continues to embody the spirit of Ulster University through his work ethic and commitment.

Connor, who lives in Newtownards, embraced the experience of studying at Ulster from the outset.  The commute from his hometown to the Ulster campus in Coleraine would have been a train stop too far for many, however Connor used this time to study and maximised his journeys back and forth.  This commitment was partly fuelled by the teaching and support he received during his studies.

“I was enormously pleased to find a passionate and supportive English faculty.  The collective zeal for providing an excellent student experience manifests not only in the faculty’s engaging lectures, but also in their prompt responses to emails and the time they make to help students with queries or concerns.”

In addition to his studies, Connor committed his time and skills across various roles at Ulster, enriching his experience as a student, enhancing his skill set for future employment and ultimately, his academic success.

“The staff at Ulster are acutely aware that skills garnered outside of the lecture theatre are becoming more essential in an increasingly competitive job market.  I availed of the opportunity to become Course Representative in the second year of my Bachelor’s degree and again during my Master’s.  In liaising with academic staff to resolve students’ issues, I found that my communication and problem-solving skills were greatly improved as a result.  I also held the position of a peer reviewer for the Writing Pad, Ulster’s writing centre, which I believe contributed to my academic success.”

Having achieved both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, Connor’s commitment and dedication has been rewarded with a funded PhD Researcher position at Ulster.  Described as an outstanding student, Connor continues to work hard to pursue his goals and maximise his potential.

“I am most grateful for Ulster’s pragmatic approach to equipping students with valuable skills which they can transfer into the world of work...Coming from a secondary school background, I would not have entertained the thought of undertaking a PhD before my experiences at Ulster allowed me to realise my potential.”

On reflection, Connor attributes much of his success to the support given by his family, friends and not least the academic staff at Ulster

“The most valuable lesson that I will take with me while pursuing my PhD and beyond is to remember to show appreciation to those supporting me, because without them my continued success would not be possible.”