What happened before the PhD?

Here it goes. The first substantive post of what will become quite a long blog by the end of my PhD (click here to find out more ‘About Me’).

It seems to me that a good place to start would be to revisit (briefly) what brought me to do a PhD. As I noted in my ‘About Me’ page, I also did my BA and MA in Politics at Newcastle University. However, this hasn’t been some seamless journey towards PhD study. As a 17 year old thinking about universities, I was in no position to make a well-informed decision. My parents were fantastic, ferrying me around to various open days and talks, but they hadn’t gone to university (I was the first in my family), so they were as clueless as me at the start. In the end, I chose Newcastle University because it felt right: it had a very good reputation, it was (and is) a member of the Russell Group, they valued local students, and everything seemed to fit from then onwards.

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About Me

My name is Craig Johnson, and I am a first year PhD student in Politics at Newcastle University. The purpose of this blog is to give an insight into the life of postgraduate students at Newcastle. Alongside many others (see here for blogs from others students in Politics), I’ll be blogging roughly once a month about my experiences and insights, and hopefully some of it might be useful to whomever chooses to visit.

A quick bit about me: I am 22, and originally from County Durham in the North East of England. My BA and MA were also in Politics at Newcastle University, and for the next 3 or so years, I’ll be here for the PhD. My research focuses on the potential for co-operation between the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties within British politics. My interests revolve around the aspects of British politics related to that.

I’ll blog about things related to my research, but also about things relating to my subject area and the nature of my study. Suggestions for blog posts are always welcome. If you’re wondering why I’ve used the blog name #phdchat, it’s because this is a regular hashtag on Twitter for people to post things that might be of interest to fellow PhD researchers.

That’s it for now. Feel free to follow me on Twitter or on Academia, or check back here for future blog posts.