Degree Idea Sparked by Ancestors
not holding a first degree, Pam Fisher has just graduated with a distinction
from the University of Leicester with a Masters degree in English Local History
– and her highly acclaimed dissertation grew out of investigations into her
researching for her degree, Pam had studied her own family history.
“I uncovered some fascinating characters, and even found records of the
negotiations that one of my ancestors – a ship’s captain – had with the
natives of several remote islands in the early nineteenth century during a
voyage to the South Seas that lasted several years.
to home, I found a notice which another ancestor placed in his local newspaper
in 1779, seeking election to the office of coroner for the county of
searched in vain for a book that would tell me about the work of a coroner in
this period. Thus,
when I was trying to choose a topic for my MA dissertation, I knew that the
office and role of the coroner could be a good choice.”
such an uncharted path proved to be a challenge, but it allowed her to approach
the topic with no preconceptions, and build her own ideas and arguments from
full-time, Pam had to take her Masters degree by studying in the evenings and at
she was no stranger to this method of study.
With no undergraduate degree, she had already taken professional
qualifications to postgraduate level by private study, and had researched the
history of certain towns and villages as well as her own family’s roots in her
spare time. She had also completed the Local History Certificate offered by the
University of Leicester’s Institute of Lifelong Learning, which she said gave
her an excellent grounding and the confidence to tackle the Masters.
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