Robert Williamson

Since attending OUDCE weekly classes, Robert is studying towards a PhD, with research at the National Archives and the War Museum.

'I have always been fascinated and intrigued by Cinema. Having spent over thirty years working in the Telecommunication Industry (as a Software Engineer) all over the world, I always found time to visit local cinemas. Having lots of spare time since retiring, I explored the OUDCE Website and decided on Dr Hopper's Introduction to Film Studies course. From this I became interested in the creative side of Cinema, and followed on with Dr Ballam’s scriptwriting, Introduction and Advanced courses. I wanted to continue investigating certain aspects of Cinema history, so continued onto an MA in Film Studies at Oxford Brookes University. Both Dr Hopper and Dr Ballam gave me encouragement for this move.

'I had not been back to University since I was twenty five and my previous MSc was in Maths and Computing. So, I had a steep learning curve for essay writing. But the lecturers at OUDCE and Brookes were very helpful and there was backup support if I needed it. Fortunately a lot of my work in industry did involve a large amount of technical writing and I found there were lots of similarities, so it was not too much of a problem. Also, I deliberately chose part-time study, so that I would not have to rush anything.

'I thoroughly enjoy the class discussion, as it is a very open environment on the OUDCE courses. This was good preparation for my further studies. Also, I was lucky in that I was able to treat the course as a hobby, as I was not looking for a job afterwards.

'Since obtaining my MA, I wanted to expand and extend my dissertation (British Film Policy in World War 2 and the film hero). After discussions with several Brookes academics, they helped me put together a proposal for a PhD. This has recently been accepted and I start part-time in April 2018. For this, I will spend a lot of time at the National Archives and the War Museum studying war records.

'For anyone with a particular interest, I am sure you can find a course at OUCDE to cover it. The tutors are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and will encourage further study.'

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