Thursday, 15 November 2012

Masters level study in the School of Politics and International Studies, Leeds University

Post-Graduate Study

Not everyone has the opportunity of post-graduate study. The current hike of tuition fees for both Undergraduate and Post-graduate study in the past year is astronomical. Nevertheless many of us do take on post-graduate study to broaden our professional horizons and deepen our knowledge of a given subject and areas of interest.

The School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Leeds

The School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Leeds offers Masters taught post-graduate programmes in Global Development; Conflict Development and Security; International Relations; Security, Terrorism and Insurgency and finally Politics. For many Leeds seemed a perfect location to undertake postgraduate study as one MA Development student mentioned to me that the size of the city, the University and the school of politics were more attractive than London.



What you study on the International Relations MA

The beauty of this taught MA programme was that, as a student, your core module of your specific degree programme was the only compulsory module. Subsequently there was a great choice of elective modules from other course areas to choose from. As one Conflict, Security and Development MA graduate said, it was ‘the freedom to choose…modules and the diversity of cultures amongst my fellow students’ that drew her to the degree. The choice available meant that students from the different course strands interlinked, bringing comparative and contrasting views and ideas into one module, deepening and broadening knowledge, testing the views and perspectives we held about a certain topic. We definitely had to be accommodating of other opinions. The breadth of discussion and experiences added to the international learning environment and for me straight out of undergraduate study, this allowed insight into what the future might hold.

My Masters in International Relations encompassed such subjects as Contemporary Politics of the Middle East, Politics of the European Union as well as Contemporary International Security and Theoretical Approaches to International Relations. Throughout all of these subject areas the theme that predominated was the impact security has upon development and vice-versa. ‘POLIS’ as the department is known, is recognised for its knowledge and current research into such political interdisciplinary approaches, so current in the international political arena: the interdependence of peace, security and development.

The benefits of an MA degree in International Relations

Our Masters degree at Leeds set so many of us up for our future and I am so glad that I took the opportunity of further study, not only for professional reasons but also for the new ways in which I view the world. I feel that an MA however can benefit anyone, at any point in their lives whether they are straight out of undergraduate study or after ‘X’ many years of work. Now many of my friends are looking for jobs in the Police Force, Development NGOs, European Institutions amongst others. It is clear that Leeds inspired and supported us for the future.

by Imogen Parker

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