Is it unrealistic for someone of a working class background to become a lecturer ?


Okay I really regret starting this thread lol. I initially wanted to ask how likely I am to receive funding, I was incredibly stressed and upset at the time and was under the impression it was incredibly tough to get a PhD.
I certainly am not looking for a lazy excuse why I can't do a PhD - in fact the entire opposite! I was scared that I couldn't achieve my long term goal all
because of money. I was clueless about the whole postgrad thing and came on here looking for help... I didn't expect to have to deal with people jumping down
my throat.

I have since researched into the area and feel more comfortable although I am still quite worried I won't get help. I keep endlessly googling phrases to do with funding and what my chances are! lol. I just need to relax and have more faith in my ability!


Quote From vixhewitt:

I just need to relax and have more faith in my ability!

You should really. There are lots of things that might affect people's chances in life as well as class, depending on what they want to do, like gender, race, being disabled etc etc but it depends on the individual as well. If you start looking around then you'll probably realise that things aren't set in stone and we don't live in a medieval serfdom anymore. Good luck!


Very true Vixhewitt. Don't take any of the posts too personally - it's all completely anonymous after all. :-)


Moral of this thread - anyone can achieve anything with hard work and a bit of luck ;-) There ya go, I hope that ends it on a happy note :-)


coastman, I think you should add a "Moral of this thread" comment at the end of every thread :-)


Hi Vicky

My advice to you is to apply for everything. I applied to the AHRC for my MA but was unsuccessful. Luckily i got a scholarship from my university covering my fees, and i worked part-time to afford everything else. I applied to the AHRC again for my Phd but was unsuccessful again. I also applied for one of the university's scholarships. When i heard from the AHRC i resigned myself to getting a job, but then i was told that i would be getting a university scholarship covering my fees and giving me a small maintenance grant because someone else whod been offered the scholarship was awarded AHRC funding and you cant have both. I wouldn't be doing my phd otherwise, and i never would have got the scholarship if i hadnt bothered applying for it. It is tough, i have to work about 25 hours a week as well to make ends meet, but basically my advice is to apply for everything, and obviously get the best marks you can cos you never know what might happen. Also, you must apply to the AHRC, even though its unlikely you'll get it as its soooo competitive, as often scholarships are awarded on the basis that you've failed to obtain funding elsewhere. Good luck!


my dad comes from a working-class, completely poor family and he made it all the way to being a professor. If you love something, do it. Because just like when you have a craving for for instance chocolate, no amount of celery sticks will make it really go away. :-)
I believe in your success already!


"coastman, I think you should add a "Moral of this thread" comment at the end of every thread"

What a brilliant idea! Do it!


Quote From 404:

coastman, I think you should add a "Moral of this thread" comment at the end of every thread :-)

Hmmm, that would involve me trying to engage my brain. Not gonna happen, today at least!


Thanx everyone for the advice. Yeah at the end of the day it's what I really want so just gotta go for it!


My mate used to be a bin man.... he then decided to go to, uni get a first at his BSc, a PhD and is now a Senior lecturer.. He has done pretty well for himself :p


Come to think of it, my first proper boyfriend dropped out of school at 14, came from a very poor family with no experience of HE, lived on a 'problematic' estate and was on the dole for years. Not sure how he got to that point, but he ended up in academia and finished his PhD years ago, well before me. Funnily enough, his subject area is one he was obsessed with as a hobby when I knew him all those years ago, so it's quite nice how things work out in the end.


A piece of advice for making applications to the AHRC:

I don't know if it's the same in the arts, but in the sciences very few academic positions are *just* research or *just* lecturing. Most jobs involve both. So, in writing a personal statement about your aspirations, you might want to seek guidance as to how much to emphasise your desire to be a lecturer. I don't know if funding bodies consider that to be a plus point, or would rather that people had more of a reserch interest. Just something to think about when constructing your application.


@ vixhewitt

Firstly: There is no real formal requirement for becoming a lecturer.

Secondly: The "step" from having a phd(usuall academic title of a lecturer) is a little longer than it seems. You have to have background in your teaching subjects ie: teach in school firstly.

Thirdly: Some treat MAs as a "pre" step to PhD, although its very hard, some people skip the Mas stage and pursue straight off to get their phd done.


I've only just come across this (long) thread so sorry if what I'm about to say has already been covered. I was in exactly the same position when I came to the end of my English BA: really, really keen to carry on in academia but with absolutely no hope of affording it. My advice would be firstly to let as many of your lecturers, profs etc know that you are serious about carrying on afterwards. That way they know that you are determined and, if theyre any good, will let you know what's coming up within the uni so you can apply. I aslo went to my university's financial advice department: they basically told me that there was no way of me continuing unless I could fund myself. What a load of balls!
After bugging my lecturers to death I was told by one of them that it would probably be easier for me to get funding to do a PhD than an MA. I then found out about a studentship they were offering. Originally I was told that I almost certainly wouldnt get it as I don't have an MA. Well, I went away, researched the subject thoroughly and I got it! My supervisor then told me afterwards that if I hadn't got it he was going to apply for a fee waiver on my behalf. Again, I was told at first that this was extremely rare.
So my advice is persevere! If you have the talent and the ambition then you will get in there in the end.