Mickey first studied with LSBU at undergraduate level, and after studying a Masters elsewhere he decided to return to study his PhD. He was drawn to the course because of his interest in how society works and the problems it still faces on many levels, despite what he describes as "the relentless progress of mankind and the endless battle for justice and equality."
“I love the people, the proximity to central London and the liberal atmosphere, as it's one without any sort of overbearing pseudo-intellectual angle,” says Mickey. “The University is also extremely understanding when it comes to issues around my autism, which is something I'm seeking to raise my profile in regard to.”
Mickey hopes to raise awareness of the achievements of autistic people, and what they can achieve if only they are able to flourish in a supportive environment such as the one he has found at LSBU.
When it comes to his own studies, Mickey admits that the opportunity to submerse himself into his chosen subject is one of the elements he most enjoys about undertaking a PhD at LSBU. "My research project is investigating the subculture surrounding the notorious Tudor Queen Anne Boleyn, second of Henry VIII's six wives, by studying a devoted website, its chatroom and its forum,” he says.
The aims of my PhD are to establish whether there is a subculture surrounding Anne Boleyn and whether the members of that subculture consider her a feminist icon, despite her 'flawed' reputation.
Mickey recently published a well-received book about Mary Queen of Scots, who featured in his research project as a 'compare and contrast' angle to the main study on Anne Boleyn. "I've had lots of coverage in the national Scottish press, and it's been 'book of the month' in several of the big palaces up there. For me the best thing was seeing it on the shelf in Foyles on Charing Cross Road though; you know you're a writer when you see your book being sold in Foyles."
Mickey is aiming to finish his PhD in 2016 and is keen to continue work on his three-book deal based around his area of interest, the Tudors; the first of these, ‘I Love the Tudors’, was published earlier this year. Mickey's passion for his subject is obvious, and the joy he gets from writing is evident in his fiction books too (one - 'Jack and the Lad' - is partly set at LSBU); "When you're into a subject as much as I am there's a lot of pleasure in pouring out your research out of the proverbial pen on the page," he smiles. "The second of the three Tudor books should be out at the beginning of 2017!"
Beyond the books, Mickey hopes to pursue a career in academia, teaching at PhD level. His current studies should help him achieve this aim. "LSBU has given me a good grounding in the sorts of rigorous application required in order to undertake such a career", he says.
When it comes to inspiring others to follow in his footsteps, Mickey’s advice is simple. “Keep writing, keep submitting, and keep ignoring anyone who tells you that writing can’t be a stable, worthwhile profession. Never let anyone denigrate you by telling you that you can’t do it on account of your disability.”
Find out more about studying a PhD in Social Science.