11 Things you Learn as a University of Leicester Museum Studies Distance Learner

15th of April 2015 seems like a really, really, long time ago. Since then, I’ve changed jobs three times, moved house twice, and spent more money on “I’ll definitely write another 1000 words if I get another £3.60 flat white” than I care to admit. But it also feels like a really, really short time ago. The fear it’s all almost over is palpable. Sure, there have been points where I’ve counted down the months until I can Netflix binge guilt-free, but there have been points where I never want it to end. I love having a student discount card, I love having a student identity, mostly I just love the course. Would I do it all over again? Definitely. Here’s 11 things I’ve learnt along the ride.

1. Social Media is your best friend. Even if you don’t necessarily ~engage~ a lot, just seeing the “AAHH HELP WHAT EVEN IS A FOOTNOTE” status’ of others is wholly comforting in its camaraderie.

2. Anywhere becomes an office: Coffee shops, iPhone notes on the tube, staff rooms, scribbles on the back of receipt paper when one particular good idea pops up mid shift, sometimes even the actual desk you bought with all those good intentions.

3. “What would Richard Sandell do?” plods along even the most bleak essays.

4. Sweet freedom. No more boiling stuffy lecture theatres (minus Summer School 2015, enough said.) No more avoiding student societies pub crawls circa undergrad. No more vodka bottles on every flat surface of halls. No more 15p Aldi noodles. No more considering waking up at 10am an early morning.

5. The endless cycle of “I’ll definitely do every activity next unit!”…… “Well ok, that didn’t go to plan, but NEXT time!” And repeat.

6. Yet, you know more than you think you do. You’re more capable than you think you are.

7. Getting the parcel of books each module is almost like Christmas, and you’re almost as excited. “I’ll definitely read every book this module!!” “Ok, well that didn’t go to plan, but NEXT module!!” And repeat.

8. Knowing every ~museum profesh~ you tell you’re doing the course, is pretty likely to say, “oh yes, great course, [insert colleagues name] did that too”

9. Knowing every ~non museum profesh~ is pretty likely to say “You do it from home? Like all online? Seriously?”

10. Occasionally you have horrifying flashbacks to that time you used to think “maybe I’ll do a PHD after this.”

11. Even with all that, knowing there’s so, so many people, literally all around the globe, going through the exact same 11 things, makes it all that bit more doable. (So does coffee, and wine.)




  1. Great post! Stumbled across it from U Leicester’s FB. I will be starting Ancient History/Archaeology DL program in Oct. Last Uni class I took was 999,999 years ago so your insights were very helpful and encouraging.


    1. Thank you so much Marilyn, I’m so glad it helped! University of Leicester shared my blog on Facebook? That’s so cool, I had no idea!

  2. I’ll be starting the Heritage and Interpretation MA in October. I’m already cringing at some of those points as I can identify with them! The doing every activity (or not)….the PhD comments.. just give me coffee!!!!

  3. Hi,
    Lovely article!

    I am also starting Ancient History/Archaeology DL in October. Cannot wait!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *