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Adam Burns

Adam Burns came to Edinburgh having initially secured a scholarship made possible by an alumna’s legacy to the University. He describes how his experiences at the University sparked a lasting passion for education.

Name Adam Burns
Degree Course MSc (by research) and PhD American History
Year of Graduation 2006, 2010
Adam Burns

Your time at the University

Whilst completing my PGCE at the University of Birmingham, I began to think about the potential of returning to university for postgraduate study before committing myself to a career in education. When I searched online for research degrees in American History, Edinburgh stood out for the range of expertise offered within the department.

I had only visited Edinburgh once before, but I was enchanted by the city and felt that this, combined with the fantastic resources available in the city via the University Library and the National Library of Scotland, made it the ideal destination for me. I was also fortunate enough to be the recipient of one of the University’s generous studentships, the Jenny Balston scholarship, which made the decision even easier to make.

I had a fantastic time at the University, forming lifelong friendships and making valuable academic contacts both across the UK and overseas. The great support and supervision at Edinburgh enabled me to become an AHRC-funded PhD student, a funded US Library of Congress-based researcher and a Fulbright Commission Summer Institute participant, among other things.

The University also supported me in applying for conferences both at home and overseas, as well as allowing me invaluable experience of lecturing and running tutorial groups at Edinburgh.

Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University

I had a fantastic time at the University, forming lifelong friendships and making valuable academic contacts both across the UK and overseas.

Adam Burns

Following the successful completion of my PhD in 2010, I secured a part-time teaching and lecturing role at the University of Newcastle. I also studied part-time for a Master’s in Education at the University of Birmingham and later secured a full-time teaching post at Marlborough College in Wiltshire, where I have worked since August 2011.

Since arriving at Marlborough my enthusiasm for postgraduate study that was sparked at Edinburgh has not waned and I am currently in the second year of a part-time Doctorate in Education at the University of Leicester.

My experiences as a postgraduate at Edinburgh have also provided me with the experience to coordinate a programme of events for a Fulbright-sponsored series of events for UK Black History Month in 2011, to run an academic conference for the British Educational Research Association in August 2013, and to continue publishing historical work over the past few years.

Alumni wisdom

Never turn down the opportunity to learn more.