“I chose the University of Essex because, well, what better place is there to study the Essex accent?”
Growing up in the south of the county, Amanda comes from a family of East Londoners who now live in Essex. She is the first member of her family to go to university.
She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Southampton and a masters at University College London.
This summer she graduates with a PhD Linguistics, funded by the University of Essex Doctoral Scholarship. “My research has focused on the Essex accent and accent bias in south east England. In particular, I’ve researched the influence of Cockney on the Essex accent.”
Inspiration came from her own family: “Both sets of grandparents were relocated to council estates in southern Essex as part of government-led programmes to reduce poverty and overcrowding in East London and I have always been interested in this movement out of the city and the change in the accents of my family.”
But it wasn’t just the county connection that led Amanda to Essex, it was also the chance to work with a particular academic: “First and foremost I chose Essex because of my supervisor, Professor Peter Patrick. Peter has a wealth of knowledge and experience in sociolinguistics and saw the potential in my research.
“He found the perfect balance between firstly, guiding and supporting me, and secondly, challenging me to think creatively and ambitiously in exploring my research interests.”