MSc Diplomacy & International SecurityAmy Perry, UK

Tell us a bit about your background...
I studied History at the University of Dundee and graduated in June 2021. I knew I wanted to continue my studies and build on the knowledge I had gained from my undergraduate degree, but also wanted to broaden my skill set.

What inspired you to study Diplomacy and International Security (MSc)?
I am very interested in international affairs and wanted to learn more about diplomacy, conflict resolution, and global security challenges, as these fields are all crucial to understanding the complex and dynamic nature of international relations. The modules offered on the course presented the perfect opportunity for me to explore these areas in detail, and also allowed me to continue to explore my interest in history from my undergraduate degree. I was also eager to further develop my research and presentation skills and the course provided numerous opportunities for me to do so.

What did you enjoy most about your course?
I enjoyed the multidisciplinary approach to the course as not only did this give students more freedom over their learning, it also made class and group discussions more interesting and informative as students were able to bring different perspectives from other modules and backgrounds into their analysis. I also really enjoyed the practitioner seminars as being able to hear directly from experts in the field was extremely insightful.

What specialist knowledge/professional skills have you developed whilst studying the course?
The course has allowed me to further develop my public speaking and presentation skills which will be of great benefit in any future career. I was also able to improve my research skills and learned how to tailor my research methods for different assignments, such as presentations and the final dissertation. I also feel the course has provided me with invaluable knowledge of the intricacies and complexities of diplomacy, negotiation, and conflict resolution, and has improved my critical thinking. 

What do you think of the support available?
All teaching staff have been incredibly supportive, which I think has made a real impact on the overall enjoyment of the course. In particular, the effort made by the course convener, Dr Rogelia Pastor-Castro, to bring students together for coffee catch ups outside of the classroom throughout the year has been a really nice addition. This gave students and staff the opportunity to get to know each other in a more relaxed, casual environment which led to better discussion in tutorials.

What advice would you give to a prospective student coming to study your course?
I would encourage students to engage with the course material as much as possible – do the reading! I feel this is the best way to really get the most out of the course as it better prepares you for group discussion and debate, which you will also learn from. I would also advise students to use this course as an opportunity to improve their organisation and time management skills, as this will really help to reduce stress around those important deadlines.

What are your ambitions for the future and how do you think your time at Strathclyde will help you to achieve your goals?
I am very eager to pursue a career abroad and learn from those with different cultural and social backgrounds. My time at Strathclyde studying the MSc in Diplomacy and International Security has improved my confidence and my communication skills which I think will be extremely important in any future role. I would also like to complete a PhD at some point, and I believe the skills I have gained through my time at Strathclyde will be hugely beneficial to this learning and research process.