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Past Questions

  1. Hi Evelin, how's the learning atmosphere at the University of Birmingham, including cultural diversity? Have you come across students from Africa in the department of Social Policy?

    Hi,

    The university is really diverse, there are students from all over the globe. :)

  2. Hi Evelin, I'm planning on studying an MA in Social Policy next year and was wondering if you knew of the approximate class sizes. Also, do you know if the course is taught through mainly large lecture theatres or smaller classroom discussion based sessions?

    I guess this question was duplicated, so see below. :)

  3. Hey Evelin, I am hoping to study MA Social Policy next September. I know that you have studied a more specific course but I was wondering if you knew what the approximate class sizes may be and whether they will be more lecture theatre based or smaller classroom settings where you're able to discuss things on a closer level with other students and the lecturers? Thank you for your help.

    Hi,

    No worries, we mostly shared classes with people from other courses. The class sizes are quite small, I only had classes in small classrooms which would feel more like a seminar (15-20 people). This actually helps you to discuss topics more in detail and share information with your peers.

    Best, Evelin

  4. Hi! What research are you working on? Do you work closely with your professors and are they easy to contact?

    Hi, I've graduated back in 2018 but I mainly focused on integration and protection within the migration field. We used to work quite closely with our professors during the processes, having one-to-one meetings etc. Most of them are quite easy to reach, though it depends on their schedule as well. :)

    Currently, I am working on minority issues, fundamental rights and disinformation.

    Best, Evelin

  5. Hello, I am planning to study MA Global Public Policy with Integrated Placement from September. I am wondering where I can get schedule for my course? From this year, the course name has been changed and the University has changed Semester 1 and 2 system different from the previous system such as Autumn term, Spring term and summer term. I need to submit term dates for my course covering a whole 2 year Masters course. Could you give me any advice on how I could find out?

    Hi,

    I am very sorry but you need to call/email your department to get information about these specific problems.

    Hope you can sort it out with them!:)

  6. Hi Evelin, I am really interested in the MA in Social Policy at University of Birmingham. How was your experience and how do I prepare for the course?

    Hi, I studied Migration, Superdiversity and Policy which was a bit more specialised, however we shared most of our classes with the social policy team. I think, it was a very rewarding experience and helped me to prepare for my job. Especially the part where you are allowed and encouraged to do your own research, come up with new ideas and solutions and focus on issues that you are most interested in. So, if you like to fly solo from time to time and not scared about spending time coming up with new initiatives, then you will really enjoy the programme. The best advice I could give to you is reading, reading and reading. Start becoming familiar with theories, start reading about the latest research on your field of interest and just keep being passionate about what you like. That will make the whole master's degree experience better. :) Hope this helps and best of luck!

  7. Hi Evelin, I have just had an offer to study the MA in Migration at UoB and I was wondering if you could give me any information about contact hours and your general schedule during the course. I am looking at commuting from about an hour away so I want to see how that might fit for me. Also how many people were on the course when you took it? Thank you in advance.

    Hi, As I remember, in the second semester I was lucky and I had 3 days when I actually had classes. So, during the rest of the week, I could work and do my research in the library, etc. Many people were commuting when I attended UoB, some by car and others by train, so I'm certain that it is absolutely doable. There is a train station right next to the uni and car parks are also available, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    When I joined the course, it was very new, so we had quite a small class, maybe 10 of us? Some part-time, some full-time but we all came from different countries and we had different backgrounds, so the learning experience was pretty amazing and it felt like a little "migration family". We shared all of our classes with others from social policy, but the class sizes were still really great. :)

    Bests, Evelin

  8. Hi Evelin, I currently work full-time and I'm considering applying to study for an MA Social Policy, working part-time in my current role. I couldn't afford to work less than four days a week; whether that would be four weekdays in my current role or three weekdays and a weekend for a side job. Do you think this would be manageable and is the school generally accommodating for working professionals?

    Hi,

    I found that many of my course mates were working regularly, and the uni seemed quite accommodating to me. I was also working on campus in two different positions, and I worked quite well around my uni schedule. I also did some ad-hoc weekend jobs from time to time. So, it's doable, however, during the dissertation and exam season it gets intense, so you should prepare for that. :)

    All the best, Evelin

  9. Hi Evelin,

    I have an unconditional offer for Global Public Policy. I just wanted some advice for the course as I start in September. Would you recommend getting involved in extra curricular activities

    Hi,

    Absolutely! You can join many societies, sports clubs and you can also work on campus! I would highly recommend getting involved with the uni life not just because it can help to build your CV but also to get to know more people because doing your Masters can be quite lonely sometimes with all the long hours in the library. :)

    Best of luck!

    Evelin

  10. Hi Evelin,

    What prior research did you do before starting your course? Would it be helpful to study over some policy areas over summer/do the university send any reading materials before starting?

    Hi, I mostly spent the summer catching up on the latest research on areas that were covered by my course, and kind of refreshing my memories as I took a year out between my BA and MA, so I needed some dusting off the shelves in my brain. :) We didn't receive reading materials, but you can check your modules and do some Google Scholar search on them, or if you are lucky and can use your BA uni's database which is even better. Also, try to focus on issues within these modules that actually interest you, because, at the end of the day, you are doing this degree because you are passionate about a topic or the field. :)

    Bests, Evelin

  11. Hi Evelin! Thank you for being open to students emailing you, it would be really great to hear from someone who studied a Masters in Social Policy at Birmingham. I have applied for Global Public Policy with Integrated Placement to start in September and wondered if you had any insights or advice please? Many thanks!

    Hi, Unfortunately, my Masters degree mainly focused on social policy with a specialism in migration but generally, I would suggest looking through the available curriculum online, check the modules that you can choose freely, and try focus on the areas you would like to cover during your degree. Now, you have the time to plan your timetable, go through the latest research on topics that interest you and included in your compulsory modules. Generally, my course required a lot of work on our own, going through materials, coming up with our own research questions and focus on issues that are important to us. So a lot of reading during the summer, so you can just easily go back to your notes when the time comes to prepare assignments. :) Hope this helps! And hope you and your family are doing well during this pandemic. All the bests, Evelin

  12. Do you need a background in Sociology for the Migration, Superdiversity and Policy programme? I studied Psychology at undergrad, and (13 years post graduatation) have developed an interest in this field. I can't decide whether I would be better off doing a more general MA (e.g. Sociology) or whether to just go for it with a specific field of interest?

    Hi,

    I did an International Relations and Global Development BA degree, so I didn't have much experience with Sociology itself either. To be honest, I wish I had some because it could help me a lot with the theoretical aspects but you can catch up to speed with some extra hours in the library, so I wouldn't say that you cannot do the course without a sociology background. Also, if you are interested in this field, stick to it. I never regretted taking a very specific course which also reflects my passion and interest. But it is really up to what you would like to do with the degree at the end. If you are a bit unsure that you need something so specific on your CV, then you can do a more generic course and choose a module on migration or superdiversity. Also, you can focus on these topics within sociology as well. The essays are not as rigid as like e.g. during my BA. You can try your wings. :) I wish you the best of luck with your application!

  13. Hi, I hope you are doing good.

    I am a bachelors student in Sociology from India. I'm interested in knowing more about the program of Social Policy. The university offers a one year program which is divided into core themes. I wanted to know something beyond the provided text like skills and employability which one gains after completing this course?

    Hello, I did the Migration, Superdiversity and Policy course, so I might not be the best person to ask about the Social Policy MA if you need insight information. However, with a social policy related degree, you will gain valuable information and knowledge on how to develop policies not just on a theoretical but on a practical level, too. For example, currently, I am working as a trainee for an MEP at the European Parliament and we work on migration-related topics. Thanks to my education from UoB, I know where to look for key documents, how to develop policy briefs, how to understand these (in many cases) difficult policy proposals...I can also spot wording in papers, which can cause issues. So, if you are thinking about entering the governmental field or you would like to work with policies with an NGO, then I would recommend to take a course like this. At last, as you need to write unique papers for all your assignments, you will learn how to be creative when it comes to policy, how to find areas which can be improved or introduced, etc. To be honest, I very much enjoyed my time at UoB, not just because of the course and the brilliant lecturers, but also because you have the chance to become involved in many things at the university (work opps, societies, involvement in research). Please, let me know if you would like to know more and best of luck if you decide to come to study at UoB! Hope I could help!:)

  14. I am from Ethiopia and I have a BA degree in Social Anthropology and I am serving as an assistant lecturer at university level. I then need to do my Masters degree within this department.

    Hello, thank you for your question. I'm not 100% sure about what exactly you're looking for but I'll try my best to assist you. So, if you're interested in deepening your knowledge of migration and policy, I would highly recommend this course. It is very much research focused, so you would find it interesting and intellectually stimulating. Especially that you mentioned that you are serving as an assistant lecturer as well right now. I'm available on LinkedIn as well if you would like to chat about the course more in details!

  15. Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?

    I chose University of Birmingham as it offers a vibrant, multicultural and superdiverse study experience. Also, for me it was important to study in a leading, Russel Group university where I can receive the help and support to enhance my carrier and work alongside the best lecturers on the migration field. The course also offered a great interdisciplinary insight into the study of migration, bringing together theory and practice which can help students to understand how to operate in today’s multicultural and superdiverse era.

  16. What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?

    I have decided to undertake postgraduate studies as I wanted to specialise in migration, having a more general bachelors degree in International Relations and Global Development. Also, for me it was important to have a Masters degree to be able to apply for jobs that are more competitive on my field. Last but not least, having a Masters degree can open up new options, for example, continuing my education on a PhD level in the next years if I decide to do so.

  17. Was there a big transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study?

    The biggest difference between being an undergraduate and a postgraduate is the workload. When you are an undergraduate you can easily get away with not doing the readings and sit at the back during the class, when you are a postgraduate, you want to do the readings and you will want to speak up during the class and share your thoughts or experiences! There is no hiding anymore when you are a postgrad, because, believe me, you want to shine. Also, the relationship with the professors is more relaxed and you will feel more involved in the life of your School.

  18. What piece of advice would you give to anyone considering postgraduate study in your field?

    For anyone thinking about doing a postgraduate degree, I would say to just enjoy it and sign up for every opportunities you can find. Do not be afraid to socialise and meet with new people during the Welcome Week as being a postgraduate can be a bit lonely sometimes, so having friends will help you a lot to get through writing assignments and your dissertation. Also, I would advise anyone to do some volunteering related to the field, so you will have a bit of extra on your CV when finishing the course.

  19. What has been the highlight of your time at Birmingham?

    Absolutely the people. I had the honour to work alongside people from different parts of the world, bringing their skills and knowledges into the discussions which made the learning experience more interesting. Also, the campus during spring is absolutely beautiful and studying outside, watching people coming and going can help a lot with exam and assessment stress.

  20. Have you joined any clubs or societies, gone on any research trips or done any volunteering?

    I am greatly involved in student life, being on the Committee for the Postgraduate and Mature Students Association and helping other international students through the Global Buddies mentoring scheme. I also work at the University and at the Guild of Students which helped me not just to support myself during my studies but to develop essential skills to enhance my CV. I am also a Rep for my Course through which I am trying to ensure that all of us on the course will have the best experience during our stay at University of Birmingham.