Voices from the Early Days – Liz Bondi on the ‘with degree’ options

Liz Bondi speaks about the “with gender” degree option at the University of Edinburgh

Liz Bondi: …we also did have a master’s programme.

Órla Murray: Yes.

LB: In those days, we also had a gender studies master’s degree. So that was going on at the same time.

ÓM: And was that similarly structured in terms of it being a rotating responsibility between the same feminist women?

LB: Shared, rotating, I can’t remember. I do remember working with Tricia on it and I remember working with people like Fran… But there would’ve been a bunch of others as well.

ÓM: And so did that run during the same time?

LB: More or less, yeah.

ÓM: Ok. And what sort of format did that take, was it the same sort of honours courses that postgraduates could take as well?

LB: I think it must’ve been but we must’ve had a core course for that. I think the contemporary debates course really came out of that… That was, one of the things that we could do in those days. I don’t know if we still can put on the books a master’s level course and then allow honours students to join it… You could share lectures but have different tutorial provision. So we did use a number of those things to make the whole combination work…. I didn’t feel the master’s was ever as successful as the undergraduate. I think because it never found its market. And it needed a bit more of a market, to use that language, it needed a constituency in a very different way from the undergraduate. And I think the undergraduate, in the way it was originally designed, could survive on a very small constituency. While the will was there from the teaching staff… I think that the workload allocation models and all of that probably were part of what killed the whole thing…. And that’s also inevitable because when you innovate it’s different… from when you’re continuing and revising…