Department of Political Science


Studying in lockdown

Siân Jones, MA Human Rights

My working day starts pretty much as it did before lockdown – I wake up and get ready to start a day of working on university projects and studying. I no longer commute to get to university (which I can’t say I miss doing…) and now just walk to my desk or downstairs to study outside (if it’s a nice day). I’m currently isolating at home in Wales with my family. I spend some time planning my dissertation work and then spend the day working on that.  Being at home has allowed me to find a very structured routine and deeper focus on my dissertation topic. In the late afternoon I make sure to exercise if I feel like it, this has been helping my stress levels in the current uncertain times.

The teaching staff of the Political Science department have really been excellent during this time. The remote lectures and seminars have been great, and we’ve managed to have stimulating and useful discussions despite being miles apart! I have been in quite regular contact with my dissertation supervisor and other tutors which has been reassuring and somewhat helps to uphold the feeling of being “in” university without actually being there. My course mates and I have also been having video calls to workshop our dissertation topics in the early stages and to help and encourage each other. This has been great to keep the university experience going.

I’m enjoying the peace and quiet of my hometown and the extra opportunities to reflect and ground myself that isolation is providing. This isn’t exactly the postgrad student experience that I expected but I’m finding ways to stay engaged and making the most of the extra time I have now!

Victoria Denton, MSc Security Studies

Security Studies Student
The first few weeks of lockdown were stressful and work-laden, but no different to what I had planned before the outbreak of the pandemic. My modules were culminating in assignments and exams, so I followed a usual routine of working 8-5 and attempted to relax in the evenings. My thoughts were with students who had to scramble to get home before their home countries closed their borders, and even more so with international students who had to stay in London, with their jobs at risk due to the closing of many businesses. 

My usual day would be to wake up reluctantly at 0700, roll out of bed and get started on work at around 0800. By around 1100 I would have mustered the willpower to go out running, breaking my fast at 1230 and back to work again at 1330. I have used the extra time that I would have spent commuting on fitness and wellbeing, not due to feeling any particular pressure but simply because I would normally grumble about not having enough time, and now I have no excuse! I aim to pack everything away before dinner at 1800, although sometimes emails and admin spill over into the evening. One of the key things I have done to maintain structure in these uncertain times is marking the weekend by finishing work early on a Friday if I can help it and putting on some nicer clothes for pizza and pink fizz consumption. I limit the work I do on weekends although sometimes it is necessary.

Build time into the day to do things just for yourself, and don’t let your study and relaxation times blur. Work hard, play hard.