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School of Social Sciences

Camilla Walker

Politics MA

Why did you choose Manchester?

I did my Sociology degree at The University of Manchester University. Throughout my final year I enrolled on several Politics modules that I absolutely loved. Staying on to complete my MA at the University was a no-brainer, the Politics department is great, and the city itself is a fun and exciting place to live.

Why did you pick your course?

Throughout my degree, I flirted with a couple of Politics modules, some were not to my taste, and it wasn’t until my third year that I discovered the International Political Economy modules. I have enjoyed the flexibility of the Politics MA, and would highly recommend it to anyone who is not 100 per cent sure of the pathway they want to take.

What are the best things about your degree?

So far it has been the teaching, plus the relationship with lecturers feels completely different in postgraduate study. Also, the community of students is more tight knit than it was in my undergrad. We are more supportive of each other because we’ve worked hard to get here and we understand that studying at MA level is hard work. Unlike undergraduate degrees, an MA is not something you should do unless you are fully committed to learning: it is not a gap year.

Are there any modules / teaching you’ve particular enjoyed? What made it stand out?

I am surprised to hear myself say that I really enjoyed the compulsory Comparative Politics module in Semester 1. Although some of the readings are a bit of a hard slog, having an understanding of theories of power, the structure-agency debate, and post-structural theory was really useful for the other modules I took that Semester. I imagine that they will continue to be useful for the rest of my course.

Aside from this, the module is a great way to meet people on the course (it is compulsory after all) and Nick Turnbull is a fantastically engaging lecturer.

What benefits do you think your course/the university will bring to you on graduation (eg skills for employability)?

I want to use my degree in the future. I hope it will stand me in good stead for a job in my key interests - global development and securities. The flexibility of the course has allowed me to structure my learning around these two key interests. The Careers Department at the university is really helpful, so I will be making a visit there before my MA time is up!

Please can you give details of any extracurricular activities/societies you’ve been involved in?

I have been a member of the Ski & Snowboard society since my first year. I find myself less involved in socials now, however they are a good way to make friends and to find good places to go out. If university societies don’t interest you, then don’t worry; you can find a social life among the other MA students.

Why should a prospective applicant choose Manchester?

The Politics department is full of excellent and inspiring academics; the variety of modules on offer is broad; and the city itself offers lots of different experiences for people who are in search of city life but aren’t quite ready for (or fancy) the ‘Big Smoke’. I’ve loved my time in Manchester so far and would I highly recommend it to anyone who is not afraid of getting their suede shoes wet on a regular basis!

  • Find out more about the Politics MA