Dr Fiona MacHugh’s Dundee journey

Published on 5 July 2022

Find out why Fiona recommends Dundee, and not just for what you can gain academically

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I first came to the University of Dundee in 2006 to study for my undergraduate degree. I had applied to several Scottish universities but after attending the Dundee opening day and seeing not only the courses on offer but the academics presenting them, I went home and accepted my offer the same day. I loved the campus, with its historic buildings and hidden gardens, and over the years I’ve had the privilege of seeing it evolve with the addition of its more modern and state of the art additions.

During my first degree of History with Spanish I was able to study not only numerous historical themes and learn a language but also took modules on literature and European studies which have enriched my general knowledge and culture. The university also gave me the possibility to take part in the Erasmus exchange in Spain in my third year, a decision which changed the course of my life forever. In my final year I also discovered one of my greatest passions thanks to a specialist module I was lucky enough to study on; the history of crime and criminology. On completion of my undergraduate, I was encouraged to come back to take my master’s degree by my examiners, which I did after taking a year out to work for the British Council in Spain. I returned in 2012 to study on the MLitt Gender, Culture and Society course which allowed me to explore distinct aspects of gender across the humanities including in art, literature, and my principal discipline history. Once done, I was accepted as a part-time PhD candidate for my thesis : The Construction of the «Mad» Female Criminal in Medical Discourse and Legal Practice at London’s Old Bailey, 1863-1913, which I completed in 2021.

During my time at Dundee the university and the world has changed. The administrative and academic staff of the university have always supported me, throughout personal losses and difficulties as well as more general challenges such as the Covid- 19 pandemic. The choice I made all those years ago has changed my life, I believe for the better in more ways than one. Whenever I visit the Dundee campus, it’s like coming home. The city is a friendly and manageable place with beautiful parks and a fascinating history. It’s easy to create a community due to its size and I’ll never forget the connections I made there. I am now living and working in Rome with my partner. Like many students at Dundee, we met at the university when he came to study his masters. I would feel happy recommending study at Dundee to anyone, for what you can gain academically but also for the style of student experience which it can offer you. You will meet people not only from Scotland but all over the world and this enriches all our lives. I wish all future students the experience which Dundee afforded me; I do not doubt the University will continue to offer the same.

Fiona in graduation robes on campus green
Story category Alumni