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Russell - background to the PhD
Name: Russell
PhD discipline: History
Area(s) of work: BBC archives; university teaching
Year of graduation: 1998
Date of Interview: 02/06/2008

Now Playing: Russell - background to the PhD
Russell provides some background to his PhD and the work he did before embarking on it.

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When did you complete your PhD and how many years did it take? 

Umm 1998, three years.

And how old were you when you started?

I was twenty-four.

And did you do the bulk of your PhD full-time or part-time?


And how did you fund your study?

I was funded by the, a university I did the PhD at.

And did you work beforehand?

Yes. I was in the record library at the BBC, the gramophone library as we called it.

Well I left university in 1992 and moved down to London because my parents had just moved to London so I moved back home with them and started applying for jobs and that took a little while because there was a bit of a recession at the time. And I got a job at the BBC in March 1993 in the record library and I did that. For a year of doing that it was fine, after a year I just began to be a bit tired, the novelty of being at the BBC lost it's appeal as did working with records which I like, but there's only so many times you can go 'oh there's that record I like', so that kind of wore off a little bit. I remember that, I remember the day almost that I just thought this isn't right, it was a really hot June day or something like that and I was on the tube and it was packed and it was something like half past eight in the morning and it stunk and I just thought 'oh this is awful, I really don't want to do this every day for the foreseeable future, I'd much rather be reading a history book or doing something I was interested in, or doing a project that was my own project, thinking about other things' and from that moment on I started making plans. So I got back in contact with an old lecturer whose work I liked at my old university and he said well here's the application form for the term and we'll put you in for a graduate teaching assistantship, come and talk to me about subjects, I went up and talked to him about subjects, came up with an idea that he thought was good and I was interested in, put that application in at the end of '94 and I got it so I signed up in October '95 and did a PhD as a graduate teaching assistant.

So you didn't need to do a masters?

No, I think officially I went in as an MPhil and then it was updated at the end of the year but there was, it was very particular, the teaching assistantship was very particular to that I think. You apply to do it as an MPhil/PhD rather than as an MA.

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