I just knew there was more for me to do still at University, and I’m so glad I stayed

MA International Relations current student in 2019
Bethany Fox
Former student
MA International Relations
After completing her BA International Relations and Politics course in the department, staying on at Sheffield to study a postgraduate degree in MA International Relations seemed like a natural next-step for Bethany.

I’m currently studying for my MA in International Relations. I really enjoyed the international relations side of my undergraduate course, BA International Relations and Politics, here at Sheffield and formed some great working relationships with several of my tutors, so continuing on here at the university seemed like the natural next-step.

Studying for my masters degree has been something that I’d intended since I started at university; I am deeply passionate about international relations and so continuing to expand my knowledge at masters level with a view to potentially continuing onto PhD study was something that I never really questioned. When all of my friends were getting ready to jump into the world of work I just knew there was more for me to do still at university, and I’m so glad I stayed. 

I am seriously considering pursuing academia and thus a masters will naturally benefit my progress down that path, but if I choose to continue into the third sector as is also a possibility, I know that the knowledge I have gained during my MA will be invaluable. This course gives a depth of knowledge and understanding about contemporary global issues that will be invaluable to me going forward in my career, as well as a breadth of transferable skills - quantitative and qualitative data collection, statistical analysis, presentation skills, research skills, and more. Invariably, I will leave far more prepared for my future than if I had simply left at the end of my undergraduate course.

MA International Relations student working on laptop in Elmfield student common room

I just knew there was more for me to do still at university, and I’m so glad I stayed.

There are so many amazing parts of student life in Sheffield that to summarise them all would be impossible. The department is amazing, filled with a range of academics working at the top of their field who are always happy to help students, especially as our interests become more targeted in the later years of our studies. I’ve formed some great working relationships with tutors working in my area of interest, including Dr Simon Rushton, Dr Helen Turton and Dr Anastasia Shesterinina and I know that they will be happy to support me not just with my current course but in any other way that they can going forward, not least because they already have with job applications, dissertation help and more.

There’s a great range of modules available on the MA International Relations course in areas both new and familiar, and it constantly pushes you to challenge your own preconceptions and knowledge. I’ve really thoroughly enjoyed my module on the Political Sociology of Civil War so far this semester in particular, and the range of different viewpoints offered by my peers has constantly kept me on my toes.

Beyond my academic experience, the flexibility of my schedule has allowed me to really make the most of my wider university experience as I have taken on a committee role with the University’s trampolining club, as well as taking up new job opportunities including a postgraduate ambassador position as well as a role at the university library and with the university’s invigilator team - jobs which I may not have gotten without the support of my tutors.

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