The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is ranked number one in the world for education by the QS World University Rankings (2016). Our partnerships with nurseries, schools, colleges and other education providers lie at the heart of our success. See how our students have benefited from UCL’s central London location and the city’s rich resources and networks.
Gaining new skills to improve assessment in schools
Wetherby School, Thomas Vogiatzis
My MA programme has been an incredible resource, which enabled me to access prospective employers, who were very interested in the educational assessment projects I had created.
The contact with my supervisor, Dr Eleanore Hargreaves, during my PhD programme is what has helped me the most. She has been an amazing mentor on academic and professional issues and her contribution has been invaluable in terms of showing me the importance of assessment in the area of education. When I started I had no idea about management and assessment and within a year into teaching I became head of department at North Bridge House School. Introducing assessment programmes into the school and demonstrating their application in Classics and foreign languages helped me get promoted.
I am now Head of Classics at Wetherby School. The school is very supportive and appreciative of the resources I am bringing in as UCL graduate. Being a recruiter for teachers myself I recognise the benefit of employing people from universities like UCL, as their studies are more oriented to the needs of the job market and the university prepares the graduates for future jobs, helping them develop skills that are highly desired by employers.
Tutoring children to increase appreciation of film
London Mayor’s Office, Hyunwoo Park
I participated as a tutor on the BFI’s education programme Cultural Campus, a residency programme for year 9 students. Punk was the theme this year, courtesy of the Mayor of London’s Punk 40 celebrations. The students composed video footage into brilliant conceptual films with a Punk ethos.
As a media teacher from South Korea, it was a precious chance to participate in the teaching and experience the UK’s deep-rooted tradition of media education and cultural studies. Of course, it was a great fun to share the moment with teachers and young students in the lovely South Bank area.
I chose to do my work placement at the British Museum because it is an exemplar of museums worldwide. I focused my time at the Community Partnerships department on projects such as the Supplementary Schools programme, Refugee Week and the LGBTQ Friday Late, all of which are representative of the museum’s work with a wide range of tangible and intangible communities. My experiences here led me to my MA dissertation research topic, which explores the relationship of the museum with various supplementary schools.
There is nowhere else in the world like London for conducting this kind of research. I’ve spent the majority of my life in the United States and Asia, but London is by far the most culturally complex and diverse city I’ve lived in.
Geographically speaking, It would be very different had I chosen to do my MA elsewhere in the UK. I firmly believe that one’s success at a Master’s degree relies on theoretical coursework and practical work experience in equal measure, London trumps other cities in that there are so many valuable opportunities for students.
I am currently back in the Washington DC area writing my dissertation and having recently accepted a role at the Education department of the Phillips Collection in DC.
As part of our study on the Museums & Galleries in Education MA, we went on many site visits to museums, galleries and heritage sites throughout London. Museum professionals often visited us at the university to share their expertise. These visits and lectures were both inspiring and enabled us to build up contacts throughout the year. I personally found my internship placement at the Charterhouse through a site visit and conversation with the education staff member that gave us the tour.
Living in London has been a wonderful experience, especially for someone who is passionate about the arts and museums. Some of the world’s best museums, galleries and heritage sites are located here and it has been fantastic to have these organisations on your doorstep. I am currently working at Tate Modern.
Forging new areas of research with leading academics
London School of Economics, Ioanna Noula
Studying in an urban university enhanced my opportunities to interact with people from across the world and broadened my horizons. At the UCL Institute of Education, I worked with academics at the forefront of my field of study. They not only gave me opportunities for apprenticeship but they also identified my potential and encouraged me to create new key collaborations for my research in the field of citizenship education.
Upon completion of my PhD in citizenship education and the development of a new research proposal on the role of education for active digital citizenship, my mentors instructed me to pursue collaboration with the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics. This is an academic environment that advocates excellence in research in the field of new media.
I have recently applied for funding under the prestigious and highly competitive Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowships scheme under the mentorship of Dr Shakuntala Banaji.
UCL’s Volunteering Services Unit was fantastic; the numerous volunteering fairs they put on enabled my participation in an excellent charity that tutors disadvantaged children in GCSE English and Maths. After my degree I will begin a graduate scheme at Ipsos MORI as a Graduate Research Executive - studying in London helped me in that it was convenient. Graduate schemes tend to congregate around London.
Living here enabled me to easily attend interviews and assessment centres, and indeed attend any events or networking opportunities related to my future career.
The BFI Lambeth Residency is an annual project taking place at London Southbank where students are engaged with art performance and media production responding to cultural themes. It was a genuine pleasure to carry out my MA dissertation project with the BFI, which mainly focuses on media literacy and creative learning.
Working with professionals in the industry in addition to academic scholars has inspired me to take a more practical perspective when examining relevant theories. In general, having access to the BFI granted me the great opportunity to participate in, and to learn from, such a large-scale project.
These case studies reflect the experience and opinion of the individual concerned and are provided to give a general illustration of some benefits that may be available to UCL graduate students. The actual opportunities available will depend on what is available at any given time and will vary between students, faculties and departments. These experiences should not necessarily be considered as representative of opportunities for all UCL students and not all activity mentioned forms a part of any taught syllabus or was organised through UCL.