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In the third year of her undergraduate studies, Eliška took an optional module in International Security and found the subject interesting and intellectually stimulating.

Keen to explore different topics within the area of International Security Studies, she decided to take her knowledge further with a master’s degree. It did not take her long to realise that the University of Reading was the place for her.

“Not many courses around the UK offer a specialised course in International Security Studies. Plus Reading also offers the opportunity to apply for a double master’s between the University of Reading and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).”

Innovative teaching and learning

Eliška recognises the support and guidance in place for politics students which will help to set them apart from other graduates. She recalls studying the Contemporary Diplomacy module:

"The staff have lots of contacts who come in regularly to speak to the students. They discuss their jobs and answer questions, which is great complementary learning tool. For example, a former British ambassador helped teach the module and once we had someone who has worked for NATO for almost 20 years visit us."

Eliška also credits the staff at Reading with creating such a friendly and supportive environment within the Department. She feels academics go out of their way to enrich your understanding of the subject through creative and interactive teaching sessions.

She makes a special mention about studying the Strategic Studies module.

"The academic would book a room for two or three hours and we would play a board game to understand the concept of post-catastrophe recovery.  The game explores the interagency cooperation needed to address the emergency and early recovery phase of a complex humanitarian crisis.

"Key issues highlighted in the game include peacekeeping, coordination across multiple actors (host country, foreign military, United Nations, non-governmental organisations), aid prioritisation, relief-to-recovery transitions and so on.

"We had some really good conversations during every class, making it very enjoyable – all of us tried to participate."

An inclusive community

At Reading, Eliška was a part of an informal, inclusive and close‑knit community made up of people from around the globe.

"You will meet people who are similar to you and have similar interests, but also people who are completely different with distinct views on life.

"It is a great learning experience, and you will end up having friends all around the world."

Thriving in a supportive environment

The university experience at Reading is much more than just studying and earning a degree.

"In order to grow in life, you need to step outside your comfort zone. I volunteered for activities such as social media takeovers and at the University Open Days, which helped me  develop my personality further."

Eliška's overall experience at Reading also helped her learn to be more proactive.

“I asked for help and got it when I needed it. For example, there's lots of help with CV preparation. Both academic tutors and students services work hard to support you where needed.

"I remember receiving very helpful comments on my cover letter while applying for an internship. I also received helpful interview tips from the Careers team which helped me identify my strong and weak points.”

Next steps

Following her graduation, Eliška secured a job as an analyst with Deloitte.

"I was working as an analyst on a project under third-party risk management. My role involved looking at a mass of data, accessing the relevance of the source and information, and writing a couple of sentences for the client concerning what the article was about.

"I was able to assess the relevance of the source quickly, as I knew what to look for, and I was also able to correctly identify the important information from the article.

"It's a skill I developed while preparing for my classes and writing essays."

Eliška now wants to narrow down her future career and weigh up her options. She is currently looking at roles such as an international security analyst, country risk analyst or an opening in foreign affairs.

Learn more about the MA International Security Studies

Louis Train: Double Master's experience

Louis Train was living and working in Moscow when he decided to undertake a Double Master's with the University of Reading and MGIMO, earning two degrees in two years.

Olivia Highwood: pursuing her interests and developing vital skills

Olivia pursued her passions during her BA Politics and International Relations degree, opting for modules that aligned with her interests.

Dr Sarah von Billerbeck

Dr Sarah von Billerbeck’s experience of working for the UN, and her research, directly feed into her postgraduate teaching.
Athena Swan Bronze Award
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