UCL alumni: the lifeline that helped me reach my potential

27 January 2011

I recently completed my MSc in Security Studies with a distinction – something I’m extremely proud of – but also something I couldn’t have accomplished without alumni support.


I was self funding my Masters degree through savings, as I didn’t want to rely on my parents for money they couldn't afford to give. But it was an even greater struggle than I imagined, and I did need some help. My father, self employed, just wasn’t getting any work. I was working part-time, but with so many hours committed to my studies, I found myself in real, unexpected financial trouble.

Receiving the Hardship Bursary was a lifeline. Many students encounter unexpected financial situations like mine. Some students cannot complete their degree because of financial struggles and others are simply not able to reach their full potential. They have to work extra hours to cover bills which, combined with the stress and worry, means they end up missing out on valuable study time, sacrificing their final result.

I am passionate about my studies so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to really immerse myself in my research. I was analysing how terrorist groups’ ideology effects tactical choice, alongside experts such as Dr Alex Braithwaite, which was inspiring. UCL really is a first-class university; one of the things I remember most was the amount of contact time I had with my professors and the motivation and support they gave me. 

I worked extremely hard during my degree, and I am proud to have achieved a first. Without the help of UCL’s supporters, it could have been a very different story. I want UCL donors to know how much I appreciate their support and to say thank you for helping me to pursue my dream of becoming a research specialist in combating domestic terrorism. I have just been hired as a Senior Analyst at SCL Defence. It’s great to know there is a network of people enabling the next generation of students to achieve their potential and make their mark in the world.

Kevin Conroy
MSc Security Studies, 2010

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