Student profile
Michael Slade

Micheal Slade

"Once I started at Surrey, I found that the course offered an exceptionally well-rounded variety of the legal, political and historical aspects of the discipline."

Course
International Relations (International Intervention) PhD
Entry year
2019

Choosing Surrey

As a final year undergraduate studying philosophy, I wasn't too sure exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to continue my studies with a more practical element, to prepare me for the job market. Coming across Noam Chomsky’s work made me realise that I had very little idea about how the world works. I did some research on his subject matter and came across the discipline of International Relations.

Once I knew what I wanted to study, the University of Surrey soon emerged as an obvious decision for me, as it offered a multitude of fantastic options. Firstly, Surrey offers an MSc International Relations course to students from a variety of academic disciplines - this was important to me because I did not have a social science background. Secondly, the course offered the option to take on a more practical approach through the International Intervention Pathway. This pathway offered more hands-on assessments, such as crisis simulations and the chance to undertake a placement as part of the MSc. Lastly, the proximity to London allowed me to commute with ease.

My course

Once I started at Surrey, I found that the course offered an exceptionally well-rounded variety of the legal, political and historical aspects of the discipline. While it is certainly a step-up from undergraduate level, the lecturers and practitioners ensure that all students are developing their knowledge and application of the subject matter. I found the lectures and seminars to be stimulating and infinitely engaging.  As the lecturers encouraged discussion, we often found ourselves still talking about key debates in the discipline well into the evenings, in the student common room.

"During the year we were also trained in research methods, which is when I really found my place within the discipline. I was drawn to the way in which it brings together theory and data analytics to create well informed actionable insights. Since then, I have been involved in several research projects that allowed me to learn more about the discipline."

The future

Currently, I am in the first year of my PhD research. I went into it thinking I wanted the course to prepare me for the job market and walked out finding my place in the subject. But that doesn’t apply to everyone - I now have friends who have gone on to work in the Civil Service Fast Track, a law firm in Dubai and Bloomberg in London. We each took what we wanted from the course and got a lot more than perhaps we thought we would when we first started.

Explore our courses in politics and international relations, including our MSc International Relations (International Intervention) course.

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