Yasir Al-Jumaili on why he chose Sheffield for his PhD

Yasir is from Iraq and is researching representation of negative mental states in the poetry of John Keats. He sees the interdisciplinary nature of the School of English as being an invaluable asset to his own research.

Why did you choose to study in Sheffield?

From the perspective of an international student, I chose Sheffield for being diverse, safe and friendly. Thankfully, I can see these facts practically reflected in everyday life wherever I go. As for choosing the University of Sheffield, it is among the top 100 universities in the world.

What made the University of Sheffield stand out for you?

The university offers its students measureless support in every aspect from the first day of their arrival. I remember how the university stood by my side during a difficult time I had.

The level of support I received was unique and unforgettable. In addition to that, the facilities provided to students make the academic experience smooth and enjoyable.

What do you particularly enjoy about researching in the School of English?

The thing I like most about the School of English is its interdisciplinarity where the borders between disciplines melt and hardly become visible. The process of bringing together two or more fields of knowledge is amazing; it is managed exceptionally well due to a wide range of expertise.

What are you researching as part of your PhD?

I am researching the representation of negative mental states in the poetry of John Keats. My focus is on the use of metaphorical language to depict negative mood. It is interdisciplinary research that combines language and literature.

How did the School of English help support you through the whole process from application to settling in?

In fact, I have been supported even before I did my application. I was in contact with the academic staff who were very cooperative and keen to help; I got my proposal read, and I received very constructive feedback. Then I made my application and was offered a place.

Being a PhD researcher at the University of Sheffield is a fantastic experience; it widens your research knowledge and skills. 

Yasir Al-Jumaili

When I first moved in, the School of English also helped in facilitating the academic transition process through a reception and introducing students to the new facilities, staff and the services available to them.

I was also allocated a workspace where I can work in a friendly environment. This support has continued from everyone here, in particular, my supervisors are always supportive and guide me in a professional way.

What are your top tips for students doing a research degree in Sheffield?

I would advise any student thinking of doing research here to make the most of the technical facilities offered by the University and SoE such as web pages, and electronic resources as well as the library and its staff.

There are many academic activities you can undertake ranging from modules, workshops, seminars and conferences to reading groups and public lectures and talks by visiting professors.

You can also meet people from different departments and share knowledge and experience within and outside your research area. Make your experience richer by getting involved in many of the activities and events held in the School.

Tell us about being a postgraduate in the department.

Independence is a key feature of being a postgraduate research student. You are given the chance to develop your own thoughts and ideas. In other words to become an independent researcher with goals to fulfil.

The SoE supports you to achieve that by providing a study area where students can work individually or in collaboration with other colleagues.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Being a PhD researcher at the University of Sheffield is a fantastic experience; it widens your research knowledge and skills. Living in the city of Sheffield is also enjoyable; it is vibrant, green and multicultural.

The city has nice shopping centres and beautiful parks, famous football clubs and the peak district is a stone’s throw away. There is something for everyone.


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