Student profiles

View our student profiles by programme:

MSc in Agricultural Economics

Miguel Chaves, graduated in 2011

Miguesl Chaves, MSc Agricultural Economics'Coming from a background in agronomy and farm management, I joined the MSc. in Agricultural Economics to fulfil the will to pursue a career specialization in international agricultural and food economics. Studying at GIIDAE was an highly rewarding experience learning with an excellent academic body, in an enriching multicultural environment amongst colleagues from different backgrounds and experiences.

The flexibility between core and optional modules covering a wide range of contemporary topics related with economics, agriculture and development, trade, agricultural policies and the environment, enabled me to acquire a strong set of skills and knowledge about current world agriculture and food issues and their impact worldwide.

I particularly enjoyed how some of the topics discussed in class generated discussions extending long after school time, having a strong role in strengthening relations and building friendships. After this great year had come to an end, these relations and friendships evolved into an international network of friends and professional contacts that remain for live.

Now, equipped with these new tools, I feel fully prepared to embrace the career specialization I was seeking before the programme, in international projects related with agricultural and rural development or related with economic analysis and market research.

Now employed as rice research analyst in Geneva.'

Inibehe George Ukpong, graduated in 2011

Inibehe George Ukpong, MSc Agricultural Economics'Studying at the University of Reading has been a fulfilled dream. I enjoyed a conducive learning environment; with excellent cordial relationship among students and lecturers from diverse countries and cultures. I also gained a wealth of knowledge and professional skills from dedicated and experienced lecturers who were always ready to attend to students.

The MSc Agricultural Economics course has helped me to gain a wider understanding of practical applications of economic concepts and policies to promote global agricultural development. It has also helped me improve greatly on analytical skills, econometrics and other professional skills to build upon my career. The study in general has been designed to address real life situations and concrete problems of agriculture and economic development in different parts of the world. Generally, the multi-cultural mix, and practical sessions of the modules have impacted positive changes on the character of my person, and helped me to develop a good team work attitude, presentation skills and self confidence.

Indeed, the University of Reading has been a great family; I will always like to associate in the future.

I am now an academic staff of a federal tertiary institution in my country; a job I will do with confidence having acquired such great expertise at Reading.'

Further information about the course can be found on the Agricultural Economics programme page.

MSc in Agriculture and Development

Tuan Syaripah Najihah

Name: Tuan Syaripah Najihah

Programme: Msc Agriculture and Development

Scholarship: Malaysia Higher Education

Start date: September 2015

Tutor: Dr Allistair Murdoch

I chose to study a Masters in Agricultural Science as it will help me understand more about my field, Agronomy. With this qualification, I can pursue my study on to PhD level.

The lecturers on my programme are extremely knowledgeable and are keen to help students in developing their skills and knowledge. All my course mates are from different backgrounds and experiences which I have found to be very interesting. The facilities at university are really good.

We are offered a lot of additional classes to assist with our study. It is really helpful as an international student. There is also lot of one to one support from academic staff to help students.

I've gained a lot confidence especially in presentation and writing skills, making friends and speaking English.

I really enjoy studying here - It is better than I expected. Everyone is warm, helpful and welcoming. I do not feel alienated here. It feels like home. This university is very Muslim-friendly as it has Muslim Centre in the main campus and master study room to perform prayer as well as halal's food in the main campus.

I would absolutely recommend a scholarship to students considering studying a Masters. It has not only helped to pay for my tuition fees, but also gave an allowance every month to pay for other expenses.

Mercy Michael Inyeinyang, graduated in 2012

3 of our Agriculture and Development students 2011-12‘Reading University has been a life changing experience for me and I have learnt so much. I have the opportunity to meet people from different parts of the world. The MSc Agriculture and Development has helped me to achieve my dream, and has broadened my knowledge on how to face my future career. I have learnt so much about the course than I thought was possible.

The course has helped me to developed academic skills especially in the area of research. We had the opportunity to visit many establishments that are concerned with specialized systems of research and development in agriculture. I enjoyed the lectures and services from dedicated staffs that are readily available to render excellent services. Indeed, my stay in Reading was a great experienced, am proud to say that the University of Reading is one of the best Universities in England.'

Basha Mohamed, graduated in 2012

'My experience at the University of Reading, especially the diversity of students, has given me the opportunity to engage fully in student life. In response to teaching of a high standard I am more aware of the challenges of putting development into practice. The experience and skills that I have successfully harvested will enable me to contribute to my own society in a more informed way.'

Yuichi Nishida, graduated in 2012

'My decision to choose Reading never betrayed me. I am enjoying my study here, simply because my course is well designed in the balance between basic academic skill learning, fundamental knowledge in agricultural science and access to cutting-edge research and real development issues. The experience that teaching staff have in issues relating to the developing world, makes them keen to give us opportunities to think critically about how the gap in international development issues can be filled.'

Further information about the course can be found on the Agriculture and Development programme page.

MSc in Applied International Development

Isabel Sibley, graduated in 2012

Isabel Sibley, MA Social Development and Sustainable Livelihoods'After volunteering in India I knew I wanted to learn more about International Development but it was a tough decision to leave full-time work and embark on a Masters. I'm so glad I did, even though I had to move back home with my parents for financial reasons. I've had a fantastic year and really broadened my horizons. I've made lots of new friends from all over the world and considered different view points on the difficult issue of 'development'. The teaching was stimulating and very interactive with practical assignments which have given me the skills and confidence to find a job in social development, either in an NGO or a consultancy. There's always the possibility of a PhD too!'

Charrison Tengatenga, graduated in 2012

Charrison Tengtenga, MSc Social Development and Sustainable Livelihoods'I was not a complete development professional until when I joined the University of Reading and studied Masters of Arts in Social Development and Sustainable Livelihoods. The course itself is a good blend of academic work and experiential learning where theories and development policies are well blended with practical field experiences across the world. The course draws students from all over the world which offers a rare chance for students to learn various field experiences across the world under one roof. The course has offered me a unique opportunity to acquire research skills and deepen my understanding of development facilitation and management. This has enabled me to serve humanity better.

Furthermore, the University of Reading linked me to the Marshal Papworth Trust which gave me a scholarship for my studies at Reading University. Getting the scholarship was a turning point in my life. I intend to use the skills and knowledge I have gained in my studies to empower rural communities to address socio-economic and cultural factors that hinder them from getting out of poverty.'

Diana Arboleda, graduated in 2011

Applied Development Studies studentsThrough the module assignments, the programme develops and further strengthens the capabilities of students towards critical thinking and analysis which is very crucial in development work.

Chipaso Nkhonjera, graduated in 2011

The course exposes students to different contexts of development and how a development practitioner can initiate change. It gives room for creativity rather than depending on other people's ideas. This is made possible due to the massive experience by the lecturers in the department who have travelled around the world especially in developing countries who are thus able to give practical case studies. Reading University is the right place to be.

Youngs Nyirenda, graduated in 2011

‘The most unique thing to me in this programme is that it tackles development from a wider spectrum in which solutions to development are found by the learners themselves. The independent learning skills have given me confidence to do research work and analyse different development problems and policies.

Jonathan Bird, graduated in 2010

Jonathan Bird, MA Social Development and Sustainable LivelihoodsThe course gave me a fantastic overview of current thinking on development and livelihoods, and was really well taught. A big effort was made to bring the topics to life with real-life examples and lectures were very interactive, usually involving exercises and discussions. There was also a lot of flexibility with your module choices, which makes it possible to follow the topics you are interested in.

The course was instrumental in getting my current job and for a good reason- having a conceptual understanding of livelihoods is crucial to be able to analyse livelihoods issues and plan effective interventions.

Jonathan is now the Sustainable Livelihoods Project Assistant, Azafady (Madagascan NGO)

Further information about the course can be found on the Applied International Development programme page.

MSc in Climate Change and Development

Joshua Allen

Name: Joshua Allen

Programme: MSc. Climate Change and Development

Job title: Project Officer and Founder of Monty's Bike Hub

Working for: Sustrans and Monty's Bike Hub

I graduated from the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development in 2013, with a Masters in Climate Change and Development. Upon leaving Reading, I secured a job at Sustrans, a sustainable transport charity, working as a Project officer.

Sustrans is a national charity working with schools to encourage active travel among schools, workplaces and communities. It also works with employers and local authorities, and administers several thousand volunteers who contribute their time to the charity in numerous ways, such as maintaining the National Cycle Network, and enhancing biodiversity along the routes. I am the founder of Monty's Bike Hub, a social enterprise based in a community centre in a deprived council estate area. The social enterprise recycles second hand bikes, repairs bikes and delivers cycle training to local people.

My responsibilities at Sustrans include working with businesses to encourage and support them, and their staff, to choose sustainable transport. This includes working with staff on a personal basis, offering cycle training, bike maintenance courses and travel planning. I really enjoy my job at Sustrans, I love the variation but also the positive differences I am able to make in people's lives. This includes seeing people experience the benefits that cycling can bring through getting healthier and feeling happier. Having the opportunity to mentor teenagers and seeing young people develop skills also gives me a great sense of achievement.

Studying at Reading allowed me to get where I am today. Originally, I had hoped to work abroad for an international development charity, and although my current position is different to what I had expected, it has been just as rewarding. I have found that the roles I have, working in deprived areas of the country, allows me to utilise a variety of skills and experiences that I gained through studying a Masters at Reading.

The cultural diversity at Reading meant that I learnt a lot from people with different perspectives from all over the world. This was particularly apparent when I studied climate change policy related to transport, and the knowledge and skills I have gained from such modules have benefited me particularly for my two roles.

Whilst studying at Reading, I also had the chance to do an internship abroad to help me with my dissertation. During this time, I went to Zimbabwe to study climate change adaptation in agriculture. I was lucky enough to receive a grant from the tropical agriculture association for this trip which allowed me to engage in this opportunity. Whilst here, I was able to further my experience in empowering local people, community development as well as improving my understanding of how the charity sector works.

I loved my time at Reading. The MSc Climate Change and Development course, with its participatory methods of learning through debates with classmates and lecturers on various topics, and its great teaching on some really interesting topics, is one I would highly recommend. Through great conversations, different perspectives, and teaching, the University of Reading provides a great learning environment, allowing students to grow and flourish.


James Onyinge

Name: James Onyinge

Programme: MSc. Climate Change and Development

Scholarship: Marshall Papworth Scholarship Programme

Start date: September 19th, 2016

Name of tutor: Dr Nick Bardsley

I decided to pursue MSc in Climate Change and Development, based on my work experience, as I had spent five years working with smallholder farmers, and saw the devastating impact that climate change has on their livelihoods.

In carrying out my dissertation research I aspire to generate scientific information to support the agricultural adaptation to climate change. I will continue contributing through working in government or development agencies to plan for and implement adaption programmes. My long-term goal however remains to contribute to this cause in a more compelling way by undertaking further research that will provide knowledge for climate change adaptation in agriculture, rural development, and the development sector in general.

I have worked with two Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) spending four years with World Vision Uganda, a non-profit organisation that addresses the root causes of poverty. I took on the responsibilities of leading project teams tasked with implementing agricultural value chain development, where I guided and coordinated the development and implementation of such projects.

My exposure to the impact of climate change on agriculture in developing countries showed me the significance of this crisis, and just how much it can impact the wellbeing of communities across the globe. Another part of my job was to build the capacity of staff and producer groups with agricultural skills and knowledge due to the importance placed on the farming sector in assisting the fight against poverty. This is where my passion for seeing how climate change is affecting us grew, especially due to the issues regarding policy formulation and implementation around this subject in my home country of Uganda.

I chose the University of Reading due to my strong interest in the course specifications, as well as the confidence I received from the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development featuring globally as one of the top universities for agricultural teaching, training and research. I'm glad I made this choice as the quality of the facilities and technology within the school just make me wish all universities back in my home country could reach this standard.

Since starting the programme I have benefitted most from the support systems and arrangements that are in place. From programmes helping me master the art of the English language to helping me with my writing skills so I can tackle essay based coursework with more confidence, my transition into not only this university but also the UK has been met with compelling support.

The scholarship I received from Marshal Papworth has also aided me tremendously, allowing me to overcome the greatest challenge of being able to financially pursue my dream career from my university of choice. The funding I received from the committee is the main reason I'm able to carry out my research and has permitted for my ambitions to be realised.


Georgina Nelson, graduated in 2012

Georgina Nelson, MSc Climate Change and Development 2011-12'The MSc in Climate Change and Development was a thought provoking and stimulating course which broadened my thinking and put climate change into both an environmental perspective and an economic one. I especially enjoyed the Ecological Economics module which sparked my passion for energy efficiency and reduction solutions. I have gone on to be a data analyst in a sustainability consultancy where I analyse energy data for large companies who are obliged, under climate change policy, to monitor and reduce their carbon emissions. The course at Reading gave me a wide range of skills and knowledge in the climate change sector which I have been able to use and develop in my new professional role. I highly recommend this course to anyone who has an avid interest in the sector and also know that Reading University is held in high esteem by employers.'

Further information about the course can be found on the Climate Change and Development programme page.

MSc in Communication for Development

Anne Dayo

Name: Anne Claudine Dayo

Programme: MSc Communication for Development

Scholarship: Marshal Papworth Scholarship Programme

Start date: September, 2016

Tutor: Dr Sarah Cardey

I chose to study MSc. Communication for Innovation and Development at Reading because I understood the importance of communication for development in terms of social change. I felt the need to further my understanding of development issues in order to plan appropriate communication strategies that will heighten the engagement of locals in social policy and aid. Studying this MSc will help me achieve my career aspirations to be a mover of community-driven development by encouraging marginalised groups to become self-sufficient and confident social decision makers through research and extension services.

I previously, worked in a variety of roles at Southern Luzon State University, and while working as a project assistant at the Office of Extension Services, I was given the chance to do research and serve indigenous peoples in the Province of Aurora. I joined Aurora State College of Technology as one of the instructors and the Project Development Officer. Aside from teaching social science, I was tasked to develop research and extension proposals and assist in networking with local communities and funding institutions.

My exposure to farmers during this time, and my inclination with their stories motivated my desire to pursue this career path. This is where my passion for communication for innovation and development really grew, encouraging me to pursue a postgraduate degree.

I knew that with Reading's development courses, I would gain the necessary knowledge and skills that I need to do my work in the development field, focusing on communication for development to formulate and implement effective and inequality interventions.

When choosing an international institute for my postgraduate study, I wanted a university that would provide me with enough knowledge, skills and practice on international development and with the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development being the most highly ranked UK institution in the world for agriculture, I knew my expectations would be fulfilled here. The range of modules and opportunities available, and its leader board success motivated my desire to study at Reading.

The University has a lot to offer, and the campus is a hub for international relations. I have had the chance to meet different people from a variety of fields. There are also lots of opportunities for networking with other institutions, including free talks which have given me ideas about possible projects I can engage with in the future. I also really enjoy the methods of teaching, preparing before class by reading through topical material and then discussing it with my peers improved my understanding immensely.

The lecturers are also experts in the field, and so provide real-life contemporary examples which make learning really interesting. I would definitely recommend the programme to other students because it offers multi-dimensional understanding of both development and communication, balancing the two areas equally.

Being offered a Scholarship has given me the opportunity to explore communication for development in a different culture, which without this help; I would have not had the chance to do.


Janine Baudach, graduated in 2012

Janine Baudach, MSc Communication for Innovation and Development'Apart from the interesting, broad and innovative content of the modules, for me, it was the people that made my studies at GIIDAE such a positive experience. Meeting fellow students from all over the world, among them wonderful personalities who had rich and valuable experiences they shared during lectures, widened my horizon and increased my interest in working all over the world. On the other hand, the inspiring figures among the GIIDAE staff, their support and helpfulness in every regard made it easy for me to settle into Reading, the School and contributed to my personal development.'

Julia Powell, graduated in 2012

The MSc Communication for Development provides a really good grounding in communication development theory and practice. I come from a communications and campaigns background working for UK based development and fair trade organisations and am interested in moving into the field of 'communication for development'. The course provides an excellent mix of communication theory and practical exercises to increase understanding of the field and develop communication design skills. I particularly valued contributions from experienced practitioners working in various communications for development disciplines. I was also very impressed by the quality of the lectures and lecturers across all the modules (six so far, as I am part-time) and by the wide range of development issues covered.

Susana Alo, graduated in 2011

As the Gender Promotion Program National Coordinator of the Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation where communication with rural women is a regular theme, I looked forward to enhancing my communication skills with the MSc Communication for Development programme. I have not been disappointed too. The blend of theory with practice has enhanced, even changed, my view of how communication for development should be carried out. Not only are the lecturers seasoned practitioners with vast experiences from different development fields. They are very welcoming and provide a very friendly atmosphere for the exchange of knowledge between themselves and students. I can firmly say that I am now very well equipped to make the necessary changes to the communication approaches adopted by my organisation when I return to work, so the desired developmental goals can be achieved more rapidly.

Abosede Alimi, graduated in 2010

My choice to study at the University of Reading was informed purely by the availability of the MSc Communication for Development. With a desire to expand my knowledge of the role communication can play in enhancing development, I did a Google search of both words and there it was a course with a description that met my curiosity.

Moving from expectation to experience, it was exciting to be part of the Graduate Institute of International Development, Agriculture and Economics (GIIDAE) due to the wealth in the diversity of people the school attracts in student and faculty. It has provided me a social capital I would not otherwise have been able to afford.

Coming into the course after being out of school for 6 years, I was concerned about adjusting to student life; but the mode of teaching and access to on-line resources made this easy. However, my favourite part of studying the MSc in Communication for Development was the course content. Though I had worked in development, I realised while studying that I did not fully grasp why we adopted the strategies we used to implement our various projects.

Furthermore, now that I have completed the MSc, I feel equipped to address development issues on any scale regardless of who it is targeted at. In addition, the understanding of new media and its uses to accelerate development is an area that gives me a clear edge over my peers as Head, CSR in a private organisation.

Though there were tough times and I faced some personal challenges during my time studying at Reading; it remains one of my most important memories and my most profitable investment till date.

Rosa Palli Damunt, graduated in 2010

‘The MSc Communication for Development provided me with a deep insight of how communication tools can be used in development settings. Through the different courses I attended, I gained thorough understanding of development theories and of how communication can be used for different purposes. In addition to this, studying at GIIDAE is a unique experience to thrive in a completely multicultural environment and an extremely enriching opportunity to learn from people from all over the world.

Further information can be found on the Communication for Development programme page.

MSc in Development Finance

Luc Razafimandimby, graduated in 2002

‘Before I joined the University of Reading, I worked as a consultant to the World Bank. I then decided I needed to further strengthen my understanding of development if I was to apply for a regular position in this organisation. The Development Finance programme in Reading with its large range of development & finance related modules, greatly helped me to deepen & widen my knowledge. Apart from the academic benefits, I also greatly enjoyed the social life at the University and the opportunity to meet fellow-students from so many different countries and backgrounds. The Graduate Institute was a home for all of us.

Further information can be found on the Development Finance programme page.

MSc in Environment and Development

Javiane Agenonga

Name: Javiane Agenonga

Programme: MSc Environment and Development

Job Title: Lecturer (volunteer)

Working for: Gulu University Hoima Campus, Uganda

I graduated from the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development in October 2014, with a Masters in Environment and Development. After leaving the University of Reading, I secured a role as a lecturer at Gulu University in Uganda.

At Gulu University they aim to provide equitable higher education in order to provide services which will aid community transformation and biodiversity conservation. They currently have 6 faculties and 2 institutes, with their vision of being a leader for academic, professional and sustainable development.

I am responsible for lecturing course units such as Principles of Natural Resource Management, Agriculture and Environment, and Environmental Action planning and Management. As well as setting exams and coursework for students, and moderating exams. Having discussions with students and presenting interesting topics in workshops and seminars, organised by the university, are the two aspects of my job that I enjoy the most.

I chose to study at the University of Reading because of its close proximity to London and also due to it being a participant of the Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme (TGSS), which funded my master's degree. During my time here I made many good friends, and was lucky enough to represent my course in the Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC).

Studying here enabled me to improve my spoken communication in English, through group work and presentations. I enjoyed listening to a number of guest lecturers, who would tackle real issues facing developing countries. The tutor-student relation was the best I have ever had. I would highly recommend my experience at Reading, and in the future I hope to return and complete my Doctorate study.


Tarek Monem

Name: Tarek Abdel Monem

Programme: MSc Environment and Development

Job Title: Knowledge Management and Reporting Specialist (Climate Change Focal Point)

Working for: UN-Habitat Regional Office for Arab States (ROAS)

I graduated from the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development in 2015, with a MSc in Environment and Development. I have always been interested in working in development, and after finishing my Masters, I was fortunate enough to secure a job at the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE), an inter-governmental organisation.

I worked at CEDARE's headquarter office in Cairo, Egypt. During my time there, I had the opportunity to work as a contributing author for a very significant UN Environment publication; this has probably been one of the key achievements since leaving Reading!

After this, I left CEDARE and joined the UN-Habitat based in Cairo in Egypt where I now work as a Knowledge Management and Reporting Specialist. The UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all. UN-Habitat believes that urbanisation can be a solution rather than a problem, and hence, it aims to encourage sustainable urbanisation.

My role here is very diverse, not only am I responsible for identifying and synthesizing best practices and lessons learned from projects and programmes at country and regional levels, I am also involved in knowledge and information facilitation, and I manage the progress of our projects with a special focus on climate change and urban issues.

I have always believed that working in development would be very challenging, and so I thought doing postgraduate studies at the University of Reading would enhance my understanding of its complexities. My expectations were far exceeded; studying the MSc Environment and Development course was an enriching experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the programme, the group was amazing and very diverse, and I was so lucky to have Andrew Ainslie as the head of my programme as I really learned a lot from him academically and personally. The campus environment is also beautiful, and being so close to London meant I could meet even more friends!

Studying at Reading benefited me in various aspects. From the academic point of view, I have learned a lot about issues related to environment and development. The professors and supervisors were great in helping me write my dissertation, which looked at agricultural adaptation to sea level rise in Egypt. From a personal point of view, I have been exposed to a lot of cultural aspects introduced by my peers from all over the world. I made a lot of friends and I am happy that we stay in touch.

I would describe my experience at Reading as "life changing", and studying here has definitely got me to where I want to be. I love my job and the work I do related to climate change in the Arab region is something I am very passionate about. In addition to my key achievements since leaving University that I mentioned earlier, I would also have to say that marrying my wife last year has to have been the highlight for me!


Selorm Aku Dadzawa

Name: Selorm Aku Dadzawa (Nee Selorm Dadzawa Mante)

Programme: MSc Environment and Development

Job Title: Senior Human Resource Officer

Working for: Quality Control Company Limited (QCC), Ghana Cocoa Board, Accra, Ghana

I graduated from the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development in 2014, with a Masters in Environment and Development. Upon leaving Reading, I moved back home to Accra, Ghana, and secured a role at a company called Quality Control Company Limited (QCC), a subsidiary of Ghana Cocoa Board, working as a Senior Human Resource Officer. Ironically, when I was studying at Reading, my sister was there too and we attended most classes together. Having graduated, we are now both working at Ghana Cocoa Board together!

QCC is the sole company responsible for inspecting, grading and sealing cocoa for local use, or for onward shipment to foreign countries. My role as Human Resource Officer involves dealing with typical Human Resource issues such as recruitment, record-keeping, appraisals, training and development. I love my job at QCC because it affords me the opportunity to meet new people I also enjoy writing reports, organising functions and sometimes having to solve peculiar problems which involve thinking through and implementing various changes in the HR processes and working environment.

I chose to study at the University of Reading because I wanted the experience of being an international student. With Reading being home to more than 5000 international students from over 140 countries, I knew that I would become part of a truly international community! I received recommendation from family and friends about studying there; they told me that studying at Reading was an experience worth having. I had also read about the University's reputation as one of the leading agricultural universities.

My expectations of studying at Reading were far exceeded, if I had to describe my time there in one word, I would say 'fantastic!' My Masters in Environment and Development provided me with a wealth of knowledge and learning, which has certainly impacted positively on my current role. I liked having the opportunity to choose other modules not directly related to my line of study, this has further broadened my knowledge base. I also thought my tutors were excellent, and I loved the studying environment and course content. Whenever I have conversations with individuals in my line of work, most are utterly surprised at my understanding of issues concerning the natural environment. Since the core mandate of my company is to the most, part science-related, I certainly am able to relate better with issues at hand.

Personal development has been my major achievement since leaving Reading, and this has positively affected many areas of my life. Having to learn new things in new environments is not always easy but it has certainly given me the platform to improve my self-awareness, identity, talents and potential. Aside from the obvious benefit of gaining knowledge in my chosen field of study, I have also had the opportunity to learn many new cultures, find new interests, improve my confidence and make life-long friends from all over the world. I would recommend the University of Reading to anyone interested in higher education!


James McQuilken, graduated in 2012

James McQuilken, MSc Environment and Development'The MSc in Environment and Development has provided me with a concrete understanding of the key theories, debates, and discourses of international development past and present. Being able to select particular modules has provided me with a detailed working knowledge of relevant issues ranging from food security, governance, and communication to artisanal mining with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa - taught by academics that are engaging and at the top of their fields. The great variety of student backgrounds has enabled me to, understand how theories affect people in reality, make some fantastic friends and contacts, and learn from my peers.

I have developed my time management, presentation, and essay writing skills significantly and enjoyed engaging with the literature critically. These skills and my time at GIIDAE has, I am in no doubt, prepared me for a career in development.'

Further information can be found on the Environment and Development programme page.

MSc in Food Economics and Marketing

Eileen Berrisford, graduated in 2005

Taking a year off work to study for an MSc in Food Economics and Marketing at Reading was a big decision, but one that I haven't regretted for a minute. The course modules really helped me to develop my analytical thinking and build on my food industry experience, thanks to the relevant content, the challenging and supporting staff, and the wide variety of experiences brought to the course by the international student body. I have returned to work in a new, senior management role as Customer Agenda Manager in the Food Strategy Team, a role I would not have been able to undertake without the skills I learnt at Reading.

Further information can be found on the Food Economics and Marketing programme page.

MSc in Food Security and Development

Christopher Kasonde

Name: Kasonde Christopher Kasonde

Programme: MSc - Food Security and Development

Job Title: Adviser - Food and Beverage Team

Working for: Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Wellington, New Zealand

I graduated from the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development in 2014, with a MSc in Food Security and Development. After finishing my Masters, I was fortunate enough to secure a position that matched perfectly with my career aspirations. I have always wanted to work within the food sector, and so my role as Food and Beverage Team Adviser at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has certainly exceeded my expectations.

MPI is a government regulatory establishment that is focused on the success of the primary industries for the benefit of all New Zealanders. As a credible science-based organisation that uses and generates robust and relevant science to support and transform biosecurity, food safety, primary production and trade, MPI has a statutory obligation to protect public health and consumers' other interests in relation to food. This is accomplished among many other strategies, through setting and monitoring of food standards. My position at MPI gives me the opportunity to contribute to the food safety decision making process at all levels of the food chain. I work in a team that is responsible for providing scientific advice that helps ensure fair trade and consumer protection thereby assuring the integrity, safety and reputation for New Zealand's primary products.

I enjoy the variety of opportunities that my role offers, which includes developing tools for agribusinesses to aid good agricultural practice. But my favourite part of the job is the ability it gives me to apply scientific knowledge to risk management decision making and seeing first hand food businesses appreciating the work that we do. Studying a Masters at Reading has given me the skills to utilise in the real world. The structure of the course was very rich in providing me with useful knowledge, improving my confidence to take on difficult assignments. The course also gave me a head start to solve problems of various backgrounds, and has given me the capacity to draw on what I have learnt, and apply this to projects I am working on in my current role.

After studying Agricultural Sciences at the University of Zambia, I had a strong desire to do a postgraduate degree in England. I wanted to experience British education, and my late father encouraged me to follow in his footsteps and study in the UK. I chose the University of Reading because of its reputation, with a world university ranking of 10 by subject for Agricultural courses; I wanted to be trained by professionals that were recognised as amongst the best in the field around the world.

Coming to Reading was amongst one of the best decisions I have ever made for my career and professional development. As a recipient of the International Masters Bursary Award from the University of Reading, my dream to complete postgraduate education in England was fulfilled. The structure of my course was simply amazing, the quality of teaching exceeded my expectations! The lecturers were so knowledgeable, I did not want them to stop teaching and the visiting lecturers added a special flavour to the delivery of the programme. The environment was so friendly, making it easy to engage with everyone in the school.

I will remember University of Reading as a place where I was given an opportunity to pursue my dreams. I have accomplished so much which has enabled me to pursue higher goals of academic advancement and my career ambitions. My experience at Reading can be summarised as very enjoyable and enlightening, and I have pleasant memories of my time there.

Further information can be found on the Food Security and Development programme page.

MSc Research in Agricultural and Food Economics

Razan Majar, graduated in 2011

Razan Majar, MSc Research Agricltural and Food Economics'I chose the University of Reading because it is one of the most reputed institutions where to study agricultural economics and marketing. Although, my MSc research course was only one year in length, it gave me a comprehensive introduction to the complex ideas and concepts in the agricultural economics, marketing and econometrics analysis which has been essential to the PhD course I now do. At times I felt a little out of my depth in the first term because it was all completely new to me, but by the end of the course I had won a scholarship to do a PhD.

My time at Reading University was both enjoyable and harder work than I could ever have imagined, but the staff helped me to accomplish a degree that I am very proud of. Aside from the department, the University and city were a great place to be a student, with a friendly campus and always plenty going on. I am motivated every day because I believe in what I do and the future of my work in the educational institutions.

My degree course gave me the knowledge, confidence and motivation to continue on to do a PhD in Reading University. It developed my analytical skills and experience perfectly for the next degree and for my career as a lecturer in agricultural economics, Damascus University. I decided to stay on and do a PhD within the department and will have a great time doing so.'

Further information can be found on the Research Agricultural and Food Economics programme page.

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