The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Priya Bhullar

Priya recounts her experiences of studying MSc Environment and Sustainable Development at the Development Planning Unit

Priya Bhullar
Before taking the Masters programme Environment and Sustainable Development (2015-2016) at UCL, I studied a joint BA in Modern Languages and English Studies at The University of Nottingham.

Growing up in the countryside of England, I have always had a love for gardening, animals and the natural world. After my undergraduate, I spent two years working internationally in the guise of ‘sustainable ecotourism’. My time abroad, led me to think critically about the meaning and credibility of the word sustainability and whether this could indeed go hand in hand with environmental protection.

After this period I spent time working for Vandana Shiva’s NGO in India, further piquing my interest in issues to do with not only the environment but also the interconnection of sustainability and social justice. This led me to apply for the Masters in London and later inspired me greatly in researching and writing my thesis on socio-environmental justice.

The course opened my eyes to a vast array of ideas and theories. I felt continually challenged during the course, not only during lectures with professors but also during informal conversations with these same professors or with fellow course mates. The programme was rich and diverse and I was able to maintain my love for the gardening and agriculture taking the module ‘Food and the City whilst developing my passion for Gender Equality through classes, access to articles and in my final thesis.

Immediately after finishing the programme, I worked on a project with the UN-Habitat & Architecture Sans Frontieres UK in Nepal, working on post-earthquake recovery. After this I explored a different area of interest of mine, which is in youth development and education and have been working as a consultant for a charity in London for the last eight months. This has finally led to me being offered a position in the Programme Team of Save the Children in Sierra Leone focusing on gender equality, which I will begin in September 2017.

Despite not knowing exactly what I wanted to take from the course, my time during the Masters was hugely inspiring and provided me with space to grow in confidence and in knowledge. I am hugely grateful for my time at UCL in terms of personal growth but also for enabling me to pursue my current career goals.