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Q&A with May Taleb

May graduated from the Social Policy and Social Research MSc in 2019. She talks to us about how the course inspired and prepared her for a career in improving policy through research evidence.

What motivated you to pursue a Master's at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE)?
I wanted to build my academic and practical skills in order to build a career in policy or research. I applied to study here because UCL is an excellent and highly reputable university across the world and the IOE is ranked very highly. It also allowed me to study in London, which brings many possibilities with it.  

What is the best thing about your course?
The mixture of policy and research methods modules, which helped to build my theoretical knowledge and practical skills. This course has been very relevant to what I hope to do after my studies in policy and research related work. 

What do you find interesting about your field of study and what inspires you?
I love how interlinked policy and research are, and how important research and evidence is for constantly improving policy. This inspires me to want to work in this field, improving policy through the use of evidence. 

Has there been an element of your degree programme that you feel has been particularly valuable? 
Developing qualitative and quantitative research skills and using software such as STATA, NVivo and SPSS has been very valuable. 

What are your career plans now you've graduated?
I will be working in the civil service in the area of statistics, which my Master’s course has allowed me to develop the relevant skills for. 

What is it like studying in London and how do you think it has benefited your studies?
Studying in London is great because there are so many opportunities to learn more by attending events organised by various universities in the capital. There are also so many great opportunities to apply the skills being developed through work experience, internships and work right on your doorstep.

Do you think studying at the IOE is a good investment?
Yes, definitely - the education, support, and opportunities that come with being associated with such an excellent university, carrying out leading research in the capital of the UK, is unique.

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