Summary: PhD student Ben talks about the support he has recieved so far and how the facilities, such as the Classics library, have proved to be excellent.
I am originally from Northampton and developed a love of classics at school but didn't get the chance till I went to the University of Nottingham where I studied for my undergraduate and masters. I decided to apply for Leeds because I always wanted to study for a PhD and felt that after four years at Nottingham I needed to change my surroundings and develop my skills with a different department. I remember when I visited the British School at Rome in my second year of undergraduate this was when I realised that I wished to continue studying Classics for as long as possible. My particular research interest, the symbolism of the Roman eagle, developed from my Masters research into a passion to explore something that is usually glanced over.
Classics at Leeds is really welcoming and has great support and supervision for PhD students. I have been on a number of relevant training courses so far to help develop my employability skills and plan on going to more. They provide training for a huge variety of areas, which help prepare you for teaching, writing for publication and advertising research.
There are many opportunities to participate and contribute to the research culture here and you can get involved with as many as you wish. Every Monday the postgraduates have a meeting to discuss a topic of the classical world as well as prepare and organise the annual interdisciplinary postgraduate conference. There is also a research seminar within Classics each semester as well as weekly visiting academics, and the 'Classics in our lunchtime' talks for the public.
The University offers a variety of activities for students outside of studying and there is anything you could want. It is easy to find a group of friends if you are moving here by yourself. Personally, I go to the twice weekly screening put on by the Film Society.
When I finish my PhD I would like to go into a lecturing position, but that's still a while away.