School of Politics and International Relations

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The School of Politics and International Relations is proud of its graduates, many of whom have gone on to pursue high-profile careers. 

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Joanna Redhead
Content Activation Manager, Financial Times
International Business and Politics MSc, 2015

  • What attracted you to QMUL?
    The central London location enabled me to study part-time and continue to work full-time, which was perfect. The reputation of the university and positive student ratings also made me confident in QMUL as a destination for my part-time Masters.
  • Why did you choose to do your course with us?
    The content of the course itself really stood out, as the mixture of Business and Politics was something that wasn’t offered so comprehensively at other universities. I also liked that I was able to choose so many of my modules – being able to combine broader politics and business subjects with more niche offerings on Health and International Development was fantastic.
  • How have your studies at QMUL helped or influenced your career?
    My studies absolutely broadened my horizons. Working and studying the same time gave me a good chance to think about what I really enjoy from both environments – in my case, I love the pressures and fast-paced environment of my workplace but found myself really enjoying a more project-based approach to work at university, as well as creative thinking and constant learning. This meant that when a new job opportunity came up at the FT, I knew it was the right one for me very quickly.
    On top of that, two years of multitasking, meeting deadlines and managing priorities as a part-time student has been great for many aspects of my personal and professional life.
  • How has your career progressed since you graduation?
    I quickly secured a new job within the same company, where my Masters helps me every day. Being able to demonstrate that I have a personal interest in business and politics and that I can quickly understand and apply knowledge was beyond helpful for securing my role, and for my working life now. I am now in a much more creative role, with a lot of responsibility for coming up with new ideas that need to be interesting and viable. I often use knowledge from the subjects that I studied to create content ideas - my Masters degree has given me the confidence and authority to quickly understand and explain new subjects, and to evaluate information to reach the best solution.  

John Harley Breen
Researcher and Programme Assistant, Independent Diplomat (ID)
International Relations MA, 2013

  • What do you do in your job?
    My role involves providing conflict analysis in the Middle East and Asia, and providing policy advice on engaging with potential clients in these regions. I also support some of ID’s clients on political strategy and public diplomacy. Other tasks included monitoring the foreign policy positions of the UN Security Council P5 +1, and keeping track of UN resolutions, Security Council and Human Rights Council meetings. Providing research support for fundraising campaigns directed at potential and existing donors is another important aspect. I also attend meetings with clients, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and Commonwealth Secretariat, and conduct due diligence on existing conflict resolution mechanisms.
  • What attracted you to QMUL?
    There were three main factors. While I was researching Universities in 2012, QMUL was included in the Russell Group and that influenced my decision heavily. I also came across some interesting articles written by members of staff while I was looking into the course. Finally I think the location in London was a big factor as the city offers so much to students both academically and socially.
  • Why did you choose to do your course with us?
    The course content at QMUL finalised my decision. While I knew I was interested in conflict, the Middle East, and Asia, I was still unsure of what areas I wanted to specialise in with regard to international relations so I was drawn to the courses available for me to study. While you can choose a course that is regionally focused, other courses are much broader such as Globalisation and the International Political Economy of Development, which allows you to explore more global issues.
  • How have your studies at QMUL helped or influenced your career?
    The knowledge base and skills I built up during the year was incredible. I think what benefited me the most was the skills I developed in analysis and problem solving through International Relations theory. In terms of my career so far it has allowed me to step back and look at the bigger picture, whether this is analysing the complexities involved in a foreign policy decision, international influences that may lead to an increase in human rights abuses in a particular country, or the importance of history and the myriad of social, political and economic influences that give rise to a particular conflict. Overall you gain a much deeper understanding of how various actors can impact what you may have originally thought was a one-dimensional a situation.
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