“I work in a consultancy, so have many projects going on at any one time. The work ranges from fluvial audits along rivers involving a week(s) of field work, to report writing and GIS. I also have the opportunity to aid in the creation of river restoration schemes and realignments as well as undertaking Water Framework Directive assessments.
I chose the Queen Mary Masters programme because it included everything I wanted to do whilst giving enough detail in the areas I was interested in. It gave me the background knowledge I needed in order to get the job as well as skills such as presenting. The regular coursework deadlines really helped me prepare for consultancy work and the programme introduced me to people in the field of work I wanted to be in which has meant that I got the job I wanted.”
Katy Kemble MSc Environmental Science: Integrated Management of Freshwater Environments Graduated 2012 Current position: Graduate Geomorphologist at Jacobs
As a Canadian, I was concerned about my post-graduate prospects within the UK; however achieving my masters at Queen Mary provided me with the necessary qualification and knowledge to obtain a graduate career within the UK. I also now feel confident to pursue work internationally.
My studies at Queen Mary equipped me with an in-depth understanding of hydrology, the various important principles and processes, and the implications of these for water resources / freshwater management. As a result, I felt well prepared and sufficiently confident for my interview with Halcrow. Additionally, I have been able to apply what I have learned in my everyday work.
I work on a range of projects within the Water and Environmental Management business group. So far, my work has mostly been within the broad field of flood risk and drainage management. For example, I am currently involved in a project to assess the standard of protection offered by flood defences built after the UK 2007 events. I am also helping to develop a framework to support UK water companies in making informed decisions about storm water reduction and separation measures.
My favourite aspect is the variety in the type of projects and the ability to work flexible hours (‘flextime’). I also enjoy the ability to collaborate with others on projects and find I am continually learning from key specialists in the field.
Laura Kerrigan MSc Environmental Science: Integrated Management of Freshwater Environments Graduated 2012 Current position: Graduate Scientist, Water Resources Planning, Halcrow Group Ltd
The QM Geography school offered me the ideal environment in which to study. From my first day, I found the staff and students to be very friendly and sociable. Within the school, the Masters study room was used as a place to meet and study alongside other Geography students. Having a designated space was great during peak times when the library might be busy or too noisy. I really felt like part of the community at QM, which was a main motivation for my application to do a PhD here. As a part-time student, the flexible teaching programme helped me to balance work commitments and studies. At QM, I grew increasingly confident through taking part in seminar discussions and I was always impressed that staff knew their students personally.
Eilidh Reid, MA in Geography (Part-time) 2009-2011
Queen Mary was the first university to run an MA in Community Organising in the UK. A community organiser’s job is to build local alliances of civil society organisations that are powerful enough to hold the state and the market to account. We do this by identifying and training leaders from those institutions to take public action together for the common good of their communities. The MA in Community Organising is a brilliant way for students to try out as a community organiser. Not only do you study the theory and history of community organising, but you must also do a six month long placement with CITIZENS UK – the national home of community organising. Learning the ropes from some of the most experienced community organisers in the country is great preparation for a career in community organising.
Jonathan Cox, MA in Community Organising 2010-11
The Geography department at QMUL has an outstanding reputation both in teaching and in research and, during the two years I spent as a part-time postgraduate student, that reputation proved wholly deserved. I studied with an amazing mix of postgraduates, from local Londoners to people across the country and the world, doing research into subjects as varied the Chinese community in London, single fatherhood, and the politics of low pay. The staff are fantastically engaged and engaging too, providing excellent role models of what academic research and teaching can achieve. Quite unlike the ivory tower experience one might imagine, Queen Mary geographers are closely tied to the Tower Hamlets community in which they work. So, as well as receiving an academic training and a broad set of social scientific research skills, QMUL Globalisation and Development graduates come away with a very practical experience and understanding of how the politics of globalisation play out in real life of this endlessly fascinating part of London. There can be few better places in the world to study it than QMUL.
Ruth Hogarth, MSc Globalisation and Development 2009-11
“I joined MA London Studies at QM to develop both my research skills and English language ability. The tutorials and supervision meetings were really fruitful. Teaching excellence was great, and the East End was exciting. From my time in the School of Geography I gained unforgettable memories and it was helpful to find a job. I am now back in Japan working in the electricity and infrastructure sector.”
Moe Wakabayashi, MA London Studies 2009–10
"I chose to come to QM because of it’s excellent reputation, coupled with it’s position in the ranking tables made it the only place I applied to. It’s a really unique place. QM has a really raw honesty about it which means where ever you have come from, in terms of your personal or academic life, you really feel like you belong. The course was extremely flexible in terms of what I researched and studied. I could really go off on a tangent in my reading and writing, something which I am not sure I would have had the freedom to do at other institutions. The facilities are great, and having a room for MA/MSC students made a huge difference to our working environment and social life! The East End is such a vibrant and majestic place which makes QM more appealing than some other London institutions. The transport links are great and there are loads of things to do from playing squash at lunchtime to drinking in the pub in the evening. Being able to apply theories to a real life context is so rewarding, especially when you stumble across things when it is not necessarily led by staff. Knowing they gave you the tools to go on your own and achieve something is great. My MA has really set me well for my PGCE in Secondary Geography."
Bethan Harries, MA in Cities and Cultures, 2009–10
“I found the atmosphere at QM to be challenging and thought provoking, and very convivial. There is obviously recognition within the Geography department that they are working on important yet often underplayed issues. There is a healthy disregard for the status quo that permeates the department, engendering an environment that encourages students to think independently. Essentially, they also provide the necessary tools to see these ideas brought to fruition. I am currently very happy in my position working across the Iraq and Occupied Palestinian Territories teams at DFID.”
Ianto Jones, Masters in Globalisation and Development 2007–8
“One of the best aspects of the MA Cities and Cultures course was exploring my own areas of interest for coursework essays, whilst still engaging with the broader theoretical and empirical framework provided by seminars and lectures. The flexible and wide-ranging course structure enabled me to read and write about topics I had never even considered as 'Geography', including street art, Jack the Ripper and contemporary African art, which I am now looking at in more depth for my doctoral research in the department. Lively discussions with fellow students, supportive staff and the challenging yet rewarding academic programme made this a hugely enjoyable and stimulating year”.
Evelyn Owen, MA Cities and Cultures 2007–8
“The importance of the MSc in Globalisation and Development is its nexus between theory and practice. If your undergraduate degree is not geography, development, or economics, there is no need for concern. This degree is accessible to students from other disciplines complemented by the professionalism and devotion of staff who were always available to assist my multifarious questions. This Masters degree is ideal as a prelude to PhD study or to enhance one’s employment prospects. Classes are small and there is always an opportunity to engage in spirited debate within a convivial milieu.”
Matthew Rippon, MSc Globalisation and Development, 2007–8
“My year studying Cities and Cultures at Queen Mary provided me the opportunity to delve deeper into concepts which had most interested me at undergraduate level. The culture of urban spaces was explored through a variety of fascinating academic lenses, from the postcolonial to the postmodern city, via the utopian visions of surrealists and beyond. Exploring such a diversity of ideas before focussing on specific areas of choice in extended essays was a great opportunity. Friendly, approachable and supportive academic staff, and a wide variety of departmental seminars and invited lectures made the department an enjoyable and stimulating place to be. Writing a dissertation, while often very hard work, was extremely satisfying and the final product is something with which I am extremely proud. I am currently taking time out to travel before embarking on a PhD.”
Oliver Zanetti, MA Cities and Cultures, 2006–7
“What attracted me to the ‘MA Geography’ at Queen Mary was the flexibility and variety of modules on offer. Having completed an undergraduate in Geography and staying on to undertake a PhD, the course allowed me to choose modules from across the Masters courses – from ‘cities and cultures’ to globalisation and development’. Whilst the small size of these module classes facilitate in-depth discussions, core modules on geographical thought and research methods provided a great opportunity to interact with the masters cohort as a whole. The variety of approaches and topics was really stimulating and the department is very supportive. It’s a great course both for those new to the discipline and those wanting to explore aspects of geographical research in more depth”.
Fiona McConnell, MA Geography, 2004–5