Richard Davy– PhD Drama and Theatre Studies

PhD Drama and Theatre Studies student Richard Davy says the facilities at Birmingham are exactly what he was looking for. We found out more about his experience as a researcher at the University of Birmingham.

Richard Davy

Why did you choose to undertake research at the University of Birmingham?

The School of English, Drama and Creative Studies is a great place to study with excellent research expertise and a thriving postgraduate community. Specifically, for my area of research it is the number one choice as my supervisor is an expert in my field on my topic. So it was a very simple choice that made Birmingham stand out. However, I also know that is the case in other areas of EDACS from other postgrads who are working with experts in their field. It feels amazing to be part of this research community.

What are the best things about your course?

One of the best things for me is the ability to reengage with research in a very supportive and well-resourced academic environment. My supervisor responds quickly to any questions that I have and also provides solutions and is very supportive. The facilities at Birmingham are exactly what I was looking for. There are great research and study spaces exclusively for PGR’s and there is also a great sense of community and support from other more experienced PGR’s who are welcoming and open.

What is life like as a researcher at the University of Birmingham?

As a part-time Postgraduate Researcher I mainly work from home and come onto campus – maybe twice a month. I really enjoy my visits to campus, because I know there are dedicated workspaces where I am able to work effectively. I have found the academic support staff and Library staff very helpful and ready to support you; whether this be enabling you to access a research collection or just helping you connect into Wifi.

There always seems to be an event taking place (virtual or in-person) that you can engage with you even outside your discipline, which is really great, because you build experience and learn about different approaches from other researchers. So, you don’t have to feel isolated because of the many groups, societies and events to be a part of that enriches your experience as a PGR.

What support have you received during your PhD?

It’s very clear from the newsletters and updates that the PGR community receive that there are many support services available from the department and the wider university. My supervisor, being my first point of contact has been very supportive. At the start of my course I was introduced to other PGR’s so that I could make an immediate connection and start to generate friendships. I think particularly as a part-time student, it’s so important not to feel isolated.

Outside of your research, what experience have you gained and how will it help you in the future?

As I have been in education for a number of years I came to the PhD with a lot of professional and academic knowledge. What has been evident is how that experience has enabled me to make the most of the opportunities that the university afford to PGR’s and given me the confidence to consider how I might use the resources and experience at the university to better network in the future.

Find out more about our PhD Drama and Theatre Studies programme over on our course pages.