Sending Sophie to Oxford

A project by: Sophie W.



from 3 donors

This project received pledges on Wed 19 Aug 2015
Help me fund my Masters and you'll see new research into women, education, and politics.

Hello! I'm Sophie, and I'm raising £9516 to go towards my place on the MSt Women's Studies at the University of Oxford. 

Who IS Sophie? And why is she going to Oxford?

- I'm an English graduate from London. I graduated with a 1st Class (top mark) from a Russell Group University.

- I've been offered a place on the MSt Women's Studies at the University of Oxford, starting in October of this year. You can see how great the course is by clicking here.

- I'm putting all of my savings into my accommodation and living costs; however, I don't qualify for any government bursaries as I graduated before 2012, so I need your help towards the tuition and college fees.


The overall cost of my Masters will be a minimum of £17,000. I'll be using all of my savings to meet the costs of accommodation and living expenses. I'm raising £9203 to cover the costs of my tuition and college fees (plus £313 in PayPal fees). 

I am self-funding my:

£540/month x 10 months = £5400

Living expenses (basic)
£60/week x 10 months = £2400

I need help to pay my:

Tuition Fee: £6355
College Fee: £2848

= £9203
x 3.4% PayPal fees (£313)

= £9516

WHY put money into WOMEN'S STUDIES?

So why bother putting money into Women's Studies? Because Women's Studies does what it says on the tin; and so much more. 

- An interdisciplinary Masters degree stretching across literature, history, philosophy, classics and modern languages, the MSt looks at the world through women's contribution to culture, politics and history. 

- It covers a wide range of theoretical issues raised by women's studies, combining them with practical research skills that culminate in the dissertation. 

My Research

- I'll be using my studies to see how women in the 18th and early 19th centuries shared knowledge and created networks through literature. How did women fight for better education and a voice in politics before the advent of formal education and the suffrage movement? How did they navigate the public sphere and create a parallel one of their own? How did they form a literary family and pass their views onto their daughters, both familial and metaphorical? How did they work with and against Western canonisation? What role did economics play in women's cultural and political networks? How did “authorial personae, printed books, scandalous allegories, intellectual property rights, literary reputations, incomes, debts, and fictional characters" affect these transactions from one generation to the next?

- This kind of research into our past, and specifically into retrieving women's efforts to communicate with and teach each other, is key to understanding how women in the modern world can do the same, both with and without modern global communications. Women's education is as important a topic now as it was for Mary Wollstonecraft in 1792. I was lucky enough to go to a state-funded comprehensive school with passionate and dedicated teaching staff who helped to instil my passion for learning, and I believe that the high calibre of non-fee-paying accessible education I received can be and should be possible for all women and girls across the globe.

- I believe that research like this can have positive impacts on the formation of public policy, the re-engagement of women in national and international politics, and for global education for all women and girls. 


- As well as the public thank yous, the postcard, and exclusive password access to my blog series, I'm offering:

Pencil Portrait (£100+)

- All previous rewards, PLUS I will draw one pencil portrait from a photograph of your choosing. The portrait will be drawn on size A5 high-quality drawing paper and will measure roughly 4" x 4". It will feature the subject from the shoulders upwards, as in the examples below. Please note: I will not accept requests for artwork featuring any questionable content. 




Video Blog (£250+)

- All previous rewards, PLUS I will post 3 password-exclusive video blogs about my time in Oxford, one at the end of each term, detailing what I've been up to and how the course is progressing. The proposed timetable for each video is: December 2015 (Michaelmas term), March 2016 (Hilary term), and June 2016 (Trinity term). 

- There's a whole lot to see and do as a student at Oxford, from matriculation to speakers at the Oxford Union to any one of Oxford's weird and wonderful traditions (and, as you can see from the video above, my self-taught editing skills aren't too shabby), so there'll be plenty to discuss.

Article (£500+)

- All previous rewards, PLUS I will write an article for you or your organisation of up to 500 words. Please note: I will not write articles on anything featuring questionable content. 

Formal Hall & Tour (£1000+)

- All previous rewards, PLUS I will invite you to dine at Formal Hall at my Oxford college (not including travel costs or other expenses), as well as give you a personalised one-hour tour of either the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford OR the National Portrait Gallery in London (not including travel costs, ticketed exhibitions or other expenses). 

- The Ashmolean is the oldest university museum in the world and features Oxford's collection of art and archaeology; if there's a particular part of the collection you want to see, let me know and I will tailor your tour to focus on it. 

- The National Portrait Gallery in London houses some of the most important portraits in British history, and is one of my favourite places in the world. As well as showing you the portraits of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley which first inspired my interest in literary families, I will tailor the tour to any collections or time periods you are most interested in.

Find me here

- If you want to learn a little something more, please head over to my blog at, where you can see what else I like to talk about (including my piece on Aphra Behn which highlights some of the areas of research I'm interested in).


Any support will be very appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read my page.

"The most perfect education, in my opinion, is such an exercise of the understanding as is best calculated to strengthen the body and form the heart."

-- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, 1792