London is home to the UK parliament but also boasts an incredible range of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), such as the Institute of Public Policy Research and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). See how our students have benefited from UCL’s central London location and the city’s rich resources and networks.
Collaborating with another organisation
Benefiting from London’s rich resources
Involved in an internship or placement
Engaged in a community or social project
Secured a job linked to their degree
Student case studies
Working with industry to create solutions
European Banking Authority, Stefano Gurciullo
After completing my Security Studies MSc I started a PhD in Financial Computing, based jointly at the UCL Computer Science Department and the School of Public Policy (SPP). My research explores the integration of economics, the study of complex systems and artificial intelligence to devise methods that will efficiently and rapidly adapt institutions to the changing needs of society. Societies are increasingly becoming more complex as technological and economic progress proceeds, yet current human institutions seem not to cope with unpredictable disruptions. Part of my work is in partnership with the European Banking Authority, for which I am developing tools to make banks less fragile to economic shocks.
Most importantly, I believe that what really makes SPP different is its people. It really struck me how helpful and willing to talk my lecturers and tutors were, how brilliant and diverse the student community was. Without this experience I would have not matured the ideas I am now investigating in my doctoral studies.
Presenting findings to government experts
UK Department for Climate Change, Zahara Choudri
I particularly enjoyed my dissertation period. We were the first year to partake in a capstone project working with DECC (UK Department of Energy & Climate Change). This was a fantastic opportunity to work with fellow postgraduates to collaborate and yet work independently to produce our research. Our team researched the development of Unconventional Gas in China up to 2030 and presented our research findings to industry experts within DECC. This was a fantastic experience, not only did we get to work with DECC, we were also supported by the department and our dissertation tutor, Dr Slava Mikhaylov.
Upon completing my Master’s I decided to work as a consultant within international development on various projects. I have been fortunate to work on some fantastic projects with the Jaago Foundation, the largest education charity in Pakistan, CarePakistan and most recently working to support a project in Indonesia within microfinance and development.
Getting a framework for policy development
L&Q, Lucy Woodbine
I studied an MSc in Public Policy part-time at UCL. I was lucky enough to be supported to undertake my Master’s by my employer at the time, a London-based housing association, L&Q. Being in London, studying and working in Public Policy allowed me to link my work and studies. Having close access to where decisions were being made and being able to see first hand how public policy impacted on London gave me a valuable insight. The people I studied with were from across the world and those of us who worked were delivering public policy in the heart of London.
In my work, my Master’s has continued to be useful in providing an excellent framework in understanding the policy development process and the evidence required to develop policy. Of all the modules, the most useful was research methods, for both application of research but also understanding of evidence published.
London provided excellent access to resources in the other London universities and the mix of students included people from around the world, providing a great learning experience. Finally, UCL is in a gorgeous location with access to all the wonderful offers of central London.
Learning skills that are valued by employers
Equality and Human Rights Commission, Verena Brähler
I am now working as the Head of Research at the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The skills I acquired while doing a PhD at UCL are directly relevant to my work. I co-founded the UCL Americas Research Network and we received funding from the Doctoral School. Our aim was to build awareness and foster a sense of community and belonging for all research students across UCL who were working on the Americas. We wanted to provide a platform for a methodologically and theoretically enriching exchange and promote greater understanding of interdisciplinary research. Most importantly, however, we wanted to create an open, enjoyable and easily accessible space in which everybody could talk about their research projects.
The funding we received from the Doctoral School has been instrumental in that it allowed us to host an annual international postgraduate conference, which regularly attracts early career researchers from all over the world.
I made many useful contacts while studying at UCL, which helped me get a job later. I’d recommend that students network and that they’re not ashamed to use these contacts when they are looking for a job.
Attending lectures from industry experts
YouGov, Tanya Abraham
I had the opportunity to go to networking events organised by the university and programme leaders, as well as attend lectures with guest speakers. This was useful to hear more about different roles and how their experience is applicable in the real world.
The research side of politics and international relations had always appealed to me so this helped narrow down possible jobs and led me to apply for the YouGov internship via the w4mp website. Through this role, I became more experienced at using statistical software (SPSS) and improved my survey design, analysis and reporting skills – this helped me to eventually get a job with the same company. Being based around London and studying in London helped me to secure this internship, which I otherwise may not have applied for.
Make the most of free events in London - go to lectures and networking events - including those at other universities and institutions.
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.