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SPS student voices and experiences
Studying International Development at Edinburgh: a Q&A with Karen

Studying International Development at Edinburgh: a Q&A with Karen

Hey there! I’m excited to share my experience as a student ambassador studying an MSc in International Development at the University of Edinburgh. This unique program has opened doors to a world of knowledge and opportunities that amaze me to this day. In this Q&A blog post, I’ll address some aspects that stood out during my journey.

What is your favourite thing about the Master’s programme?

Definitely the courses! The topics covered in the International Development programme are incredibly engaging, especially for someone like me who doesn’t have a background in this field. From exploring conflict and peacekeeping to understanding transitional justice and the role of gender in international development, each subject has a unique appeal. Learning about economic models and their impact on development has been eye-opening too. The depth of these topics has expanded my perspective, challenging me to think critically and approach issues from various angles. It has been a genuinely intellectually stimulating experience. There are no right or wrong answers; you learn that it is all about perspectives, interests, and global trends.

What about the marking? Is it difficult to get good grades?

Ah, the marking system! A question that’s on the mind of every international student! In terms of difficulty, achieving good grades isn’t impossible. It does, however, still require a different approach compared to what I was used to in Mexico, where I was accustomed to a combination of exams and projects determining my final grades. In my course at Edinburgh, the emphasis is primarily on essays as the main form of assessment. It’s important to note that achieving good grades in essays requires a solid understanding of the subject, critical thinking skills, and effective written communication. With proper preparation, thorough research, and guidance from your tutors, it’s very possible to excel. So, while it is true that I faced a learning curve, I’ve found that the transition to the essay-based marking system is an opportunity for personal growth and academic development.

How has the international community at Edinburgh enriched your experience?

The international community in my master’s programme has profoundly impacted my experience as a student and my future job prospects. It goes beyond simply learning about different cultures and making new friends. Being part of an international environment like this has become an asset for my professional growth. Firstly, interacting with classmates from diverse backgrounds has expanded my understanding of global issues. Moreover, it has provided extensive networking opportunities. Collaborating with individuals from different countries and academic disciplines has allowed me to build a professional network. Furthermore, the Uni’s career services made me realise that employers increasingly seek individuals who can thrive in diverse and multicultural settings, and my experience in this international community prepares me well for future job interviews and professional endeavours.

As I find myself in the dissertation phase of my master’s journey, I can’t help but reflect on my incredible experiences during my classes. Looking back, I feel a sense of nostalgia for the fantastic time I’ve had. The aspects I’ve mentioned, such as the unique marking system, fascinating topics, and the vibrant international community, have truly made my master’s in international development an unforgettable experience. If you’re intrigued by the experiences I’ve shared, I encourage you to visit our webpage for more detailed information about the MSc in International Development at the University of Edinburgh.


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