Case study

A story

A second degree brought a first chance to study abroad for MA Publishing student Samantha Roy. And securing our GREAT Scholarship meant she did it with an £11,000 funding boost.

Samantha says: “I was really interested in studying abroad – I’ve done all my studying in India and I wanted to experience another culture.

Sam was ready to start the next chapter for her studies but wasn’t sure what it could be. Having already studied English Literature at home in India, her research looked for ways to apply what she enjoyed at postgraduate level.

She says: “Doing my undergrad in India, I was the president of the magazine society and was interning at Scholastic India. All of that got me interested in publishing as a whole subject. Somehow, I found a Derby Alumni on YouTube. She told me about MA Publishing and was kind enough to answer my questions.”

From there, Sam had an informal interview with one of the course module leaders. Sam says, “He gave me a good intro, that publishing is not just an editor; there’s marketing, sales, I didn’t know there were so many layers to it.”

The course plan appealed to her, as did the choice of submitting either a dissertation or a publishing project, such as a magazine or book.

Derby also suited Sam as a place to live. She says: “I like that small-town feel. Everyone I got in touch with was really nice, which is very true here as well. As opposed to people who are up in busy cities like London, they weren’t getting the experience I’m getting here.”

Samantha Roy from India

Applying just in time

Sam says: “My parents wanted to send me abroad but it can be so expensive – a million tiny things to pay for.” During a busy period of exams, it was by chance of the helpful reminder of a friend that Sam got her scholarship application in before the deadline.

She says, “Thank god being an English student I finished it that day, and my mum, who is quite religious, said pray to every god you know and then click send! I jokingly said imagine if I get a ‘GREAT’ Scholarship! It was pretty much on faith and luck, I almost missed it, but it’s on her I just clicked the send button.”

Sam was soon surprised to receive a good news call from the University. She says: “I didn’t know how much it was worth at first. They said it’s £11,000! It was great to surprise my parents with that.”

Understanding the industry

Once her course is complete, Sam aims to stay in the UK for the time being and wants to get into the marketing aspect of the publishing industry. She says: “With this degree, I’m hoping to get an edge over others who don’t have it.” She’s currently learning more about the legal side of author and publisher contracts – “I never thought I would do that,” she says. She also doesn’t discount the idea of being able to use her new knowledge to start up her own publishing house one day.

Whatever route she chooses, Sam knows she has the backing of her family back home:

“This is the first time I’ve been away from my family, I’m the first one doing a postgraduate, and the first one going abroad. It’s been hard but it’s worth it, as this is for my life; my future.”