As members of the Graduate School, our masters students make a vital contribution to a School of Geography renowned for its intellectually stimulating and supportive atmosphere – as recognized in the School of Geography being ranked fifth in the UK for the quality of our research outputs (REF 2014), for example. Close links between postgraduates and staff and a sense of involvement in the life of the School is encouraged through small group teaching and a range of research activities in which postgraduate students play a full part.
In addition to their own work with teaching staff and supervisors, MA/MSc students attend all of our weekly seminars. Human Geography graduate students are also encouraged to attend our Research Frameworks series. Research Frameworks provide students with the opportunity for in-depth discussion with distinguished visiting scholars. The School recently hosted Partha Chatterjee for its annual David M Smith Lecture, with other Distinguished Visiting Scholars spending time in the department include Ash Amin (Durham University), Sallie Marston and John Paul Jones III (University of Arizona), Stuart Elden (Durham University), Alec Murphy (University of Oregon) and Katherine McKinnon (Macquarie University). Masters students also participate in the activities of several cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional research centres active within the Department, including the City Centre, the Centre for the Study of Global Security and Development, and the Centre for Aquatic and Terrestrial Environments.
Physical geography colleagues have a Physical Geography Group, which has regular meetings where staff, Postdoctoral Research Assistants and postgraduate students present and discuss new ideas and preliminary research findings in an informal and supportive atmosphere. There are also a range of fortnightly Reading Groups in Human Geography, in which postgraduates and staff come together to discuss key developments in the discipline.
We have also developed close links with a number of other departments across the university, providing access to the wider academic community of the University of London. For example, those registering for one of the School's MSc programmes may also take courses on a number of other MSc programmes at Queen Mary, including the MSc in Public Policy (run by the School of Politics and International Relations), the MA in Metropolis and Empire (provided by the Schools of Geography, English and History) and those provided in the Institute of Community Health Studies.
Our Graduate School also prides itself on its informal and supportive atmosphere, helped by regular events organised by both department (including regular departmental lunches, the infamous Christmas party, and our summer barbecue) and by postgraduates themselves (including nights out bowling, curries in Brick Lane, and regular get togethers in local pubs).
Masters students have access to a wide range of facilities and learning resources within the university. In addition to dedicated masters student rooms, these include the QMUL Library and other libraries within the University of London; the University of London Library at Senate House and the first rate resources of other libraries with London collections (e.g. the British Library); a range of IT resources including networked PCs (with full internet and email privileges), and electronic learning resources (eg electronic academic journals); the Graduate School in the Social Sciences and Humanities, including the facilities of the ‘Lock Keeper’s Cottage’ in the Campus’s ‘Arts Quarter’ bordering the Regent’s Canal (seminar room, a common room with kitchen facilities and three work rooms with additional computing resources). Masters students in physical geography also enjoy access to state of the art lab facilities developed from an initial investment by SRIF of £3 million.