Department of Political Science


Clone of Sara Distante

Sara - Global Governance & Ethics student.

Picture showing a GGE student

Why did you apply to Political Science Department, UCL?

I decided to apply to the Political Science Department at UCL because I wanted to do a master in a top university, building on the foundations I had put during my undergraduate studies in International Politics. I wanted to explore the more practical and ethical sides of political and policy actions, therefore, as I started checking for masters, knowing that UCL would be one of my first choices, I knew that the Global Governance and Ethics course would meet my expectations perfectly. 

Tell us about your student recruitment journey, was there something particular that made you apply and accept your offer?

My recruitment journey was pretty straightfoward. I am forever grateful to UCL for accepting to defer the beginning of my master, because it has allowed me to do my dream-internship abroad while not giving up my place here. I am well aware that not all universities allow this and I did not expect a university with such a high rate of applications to be able to support me in this life choice. It really made a difference for me. 

What were your first impressions of the department?

I have found the department to be incredibly welcoming and open to every single student. It has felt like home from the beginning and it is incredible how many opportunities and services we were made aware of just the during the induction week, it made it much easier for me to settle, especially because masters are not long enough to discover everything by yourself! 

What is the rest of your cohort like?

I really like my colleagues, both induction sessions and seminars have created a relaxed and collaborative environment where to work. Masters tend to be competitive, but I feel like this does not hinder our willingness to help and support each other as friends and as university colleagues. 

What is the teaching and learning like?

I will not lie, it is hard and there is always a lot to do, I have even found myself wishing lectures and/or seminars lasted more, because there are many concepts and stimuli to elaborate! But overall I am loving it. I feel constantly challenged and motivated to do more.  Lecturers try to support us as they can and they do an amazing job in teaching us how to navigate their discipline. 

What do you like best about your course so far?

I think my favourite part so far is the empirical side of it. I am learning to write papers and to think in terms that I believe will be very useful to me once I start working.  

What advice would you give to overseas students wanting to study in the UK?

Do not let yourself feel too overwhelmed! Yes, there is much to do and explore, but this should be the fun part, not the hard one. It takes time to get used to a new country, no matter how similar to your home - like in my case. But you should take it as a fun learning journey that will change the way you look the world and at yourself. Cherish it, you have all the support that you need. It is not easy, but you will thank yourself. Oh, and never leave your house without an umbrella! 

Would you recommend your programme to prospective students and why?

I absolutely would! As I said, it is fulfilling and it really prepares you to what comes after. There is a lot of research involved, you learn to read and interpret all sort of sources, but also to build strong arguments. I like my programme because it allows me to create a tailor-made course of study while guiding me in every single choice. You learn to observe the political world in numerous different ways, you approach all kinds of studies and come to realise that there are plenty of doors that can be open with this sort of academic background. 

What are your career aspirations and how do you envisage your master’s helping with these?

I am still working on it, but I am interested in human rights protection, both in a broad and narrower sense. I would love to work in global/European institutions tackling human rights issues, either gender-, environment- or immigration—related.  I also do not preclude the possibility of doing a PhD and maybe teaching, but I leave this option to the future. This master would allow me to do any of that, not only because UCL is a top tier university, but also because I am learning to undertake political research in all the topics I have mentioned.  For example, it gives me the opportunity to look at the politics of gender, studying the juridical side of agreements, look at the ethical aspects that govern all issues, from global governance to research practice.