Department of Political Science


Undergraduate Alumni

Varun Vassanth, Philosophy, Politics and Economics BSc


Why did you choose to study at UCL?

The Philosophy Politics & Economics course at UCL is particularly strong and unlike other PPE degree programmes, the ability to explore data science whilst specialising in Philosophy is offered which appealed to me greatly. Alongside this, UCL’s location makes it an ideal place to study at undergraduate level. London is a diverse city with so many amazing institutions and opportunities- the ability to explore the physical realities in context of taught academic content is unparalleled. Being a born and bred Londoner, I’ve seen a completely different side to the city during my time at UCL and have been able to explore my interests in so many different spaces which has been really valuable!

What is your favourite/most memorable memory of your time at UCL?

Too many to choose from! UCL has a huge range of societies to get involved in, with a very active membership. Some of best memories I have during my time at UCL are with Jazz Society and Live Music Society. From the various Open Mics and Jazz Jams to the big shows in the Bloomsbury Theatre, making friends and performing with so many talented people has been such a great experience.

The School of Public Policy is a familial and friendly department with some incredible staff who have really made my undergraduate experience so much better... it would be wrong not to give them a little shout-out here!

What are you doing now/plan to do?

For the last two years, I’ve been Director of a social non-profit called Opportutoring, where we teach English to refugees and displaced people via online lessons. I pitched to a programming bootcamp called Founders and Coders and have been selected to be a Product Owner as part of their social impact programme ‘Tech for Better’. We are currently developing a Progressive Web Application to provide a platform for our tutors to deliver their lessons and to crowdsource a curriculum.

In terms of starting a career, I’m hoping to find a strategy consulting role in a firm that works with a mixture of public and private sector clients. The work we have been doing with Opportutoring has been really enjoyable and lends itself well to the experience required for strategy and innovation so I think this is a good place to start a career!

How has your UCL education contributed to your career?

The diversity of students at UCL has contributed to an understanding that multiple perspectives are extremely beneficial in creating an environment conducive to innovation and creativity. Having the opportunity to meet such an array of people with different backgrounds throughout my university experience, particularly in politics seminars, has been really beneficial in being able to see various concepts from multiple points of view. This skill is important in any workplace setting given you are bound to meet a huge range of people and it provides you with the tools to draw the best from every individual in any team you find yourself working in.

What advice do you have for current students?

Get stuck in! There’s so much on offer at UCL and no matter what your interests, you will be able to find people and communities that you can connect with. The societies within the UCL Students’ Union deserve credit for how wide-ranging they are and I definitely recommend getting involved as early on as possible- it’s a great way of making friends and finding new hobbies. The Political Science Department have lots going on so make use of the events that they host and there is some great Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work being done so there’s some really engaging material to be a part of outside of the classroom.

Some of the most interesting, academically challenging moments happened outside of contact hours. Go to the pub with people in your class- especially after Philosophy seminars! I found this some of the most useful time engaging with material because discussion flows freely and you get to hear how other people approach the readings and content which is always really interesting. Don’t be afraid to ask lecturers for a moment of their time to ask questions- office hours/coffee with an academic member of staff can be really pivotal in forming some of your views and receiving sage advice!

Describe UCL in five words

A great place to be!

Kinzah Khan, Philosophy, Politics and Economics BSc

PPE Alumni Student

Why did you choose to study at UCL?

I knew I wanted to study in London and narrowed my search according to the league tables. UCL was absolutely my favourite of all the London universities and, upon reflection, I think it was the atmosphere on campus that initially enticed me. The course itself was certainly a factor, but the dynamics of the student population and the societal opportunities promised a well-rounded university experience that allowed me to meet interesting people as well as be challenged in a world renowned department.

What is your favourite/most memorable moment of your time at UCL?

I was the Editor-in-Chief of Pi Magazine (student media) in my final year and at the end of term 1 we held a launch event in which we invited Alec Russell from the Financial Times to speak at. It was a great night to celebrate the society’s achievement and see the result of months of hard work. However, it is hard to pick just one moment. I think the general experience at UCL of meeting new people and studying interesting topics over the course of 3 years makes up the whole experience.  

What are you doing now/plan to do?

I am currently pursing law, studying the PGDL (law conversion course) at BPP University and I have a training contract at White & Case LLP. I have plans to hopefully undertake a masters at some point too.

How has your UCL education contributed to your career?

UCL was hugely beneficial in meeting people and growing my network. I managed to secure an international internship by attending a UCL careers event in my first year, and my research into law began with networking with other students from the law department. I think having such a huge on campus population as well as available alumni was essential for my exploration into different fields and testing out my options before ending up in law. Additionally, the skills I picked up along the way from my studies and society work built my CV and soft skills to make a strong candidate.

Describe UCL in 5 words

Diverse, stimulating, dynamic, innovative, memorable