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Q&A with Jiawei Ding

Jiawei is an international student from China. She graduated from the Applied Linguistics MA at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) in 2018 and is preparing for further study.

Why did you choose to study your programme and what made you choose the IOE?
My undergraduate degree was in English Language and Business but I found I was more interested in language, culture and society, so from there I chose to study applied linguistics at Master’s level. I found the programme here was great because it offers a wide range of modules related to key concepts and issues in applied linguistics studies. I thought this could provide an excellent foundation for further study and research.

What did you enjoy most about your programme?  
The best thing about my programme was that I got the chance to develop my research skills and to improve my critical thinking. Conducting a piece of research with the help of a supervisor was a rewarding experience.

Did you benefit from any partnerships that your department had with other organisations?  
I benefited a lot from the Chinese-teachers’ e-forum provided by Confucius Institute for Schools within our Culture, Communication and Media department. It served as a useful platform for me to post my participant recruitment information and discuss relevant opportunities when I was experiencing difficulty in finding targeted participants for the dissertation research.

Do you have any tips or helpful advice for incoming students? 

  • Attend reading groups, seminars and lectures – they are really illuminating.
  • Make use of resources offered by the IOE, such as the Academic Writing Centre and digital skills workshops.
  • Talk with other students in your programme and study in a group.
  • Enjoy your time in London! 

Since graduating form the IOE, have you used any of the services for alumni such as networking events, reunions or mentoring tools?
As I have been considering undertaking further research, I received valuable suggestions for contacting potential supervisors from my department postgraduate research tutor. Moreover, I could get access to thousands of academic journals and e-books for free, which helped me a lot when I prepared for further studies. 

Is there anything else you would like to say about your time at the IOE?
I enjoyed the vibrant, inclusive and supportive study culture that IOE creates for students. Advice offered by academics and support offered by peers were beneficial to not only my study here at Master’s level but for my long-term professional development. It really is an exhilarating and rewarding experience.