MSc Diplomacy and International Security student Liam McCarthy

MSc Diplomacy & International SecurityLiam McCarthy, UK

What inspired you to study Diplomacy and International Security (MSc)?
I was a Strathclyde undergraduate and unsure what path I wanted to take in my studies until my Honours year of my undergraduate, where I became really invested in my dissertation. I became interested in developing my own research, and found the more I read into the subject I was writing my dissertation on, the more I enjoyed researching. This led me to search for Postgraduate courses, and Diplomacy & International Security felt like such a natural fit.

What do you enjoy most about your course?
Definitely the freedom in both seminars and coursework. Discussions in seminars are relaxed, but very informative and always feature great debate. Furthermore, the ability to design our own presentations from scratch, alongside assignments and the dissertation means I am largely in control of what subjects I want to specialise in. Everyone in the course is looking at vastly different topics for their dissertations, ranging from medieval times to present day. This freedom has allowed us to really take ownership and enjoy the course without feeling confided to learning about topics we are not interested in.

What specialist knowledge/professional skills have you developed whilst studying the course?
I think my project management and presentation skills have benefited greatly from the MSc in Diplomacy and International Security. The way the course is designed means your skills are developed in a way that will be very beneficial in a professional or further academic environment, where I may be in charge of projects or have to present to audiences.

What do you think of the support available?
The support from the teaching and administrative staff is great. I have never had to chase up anything via e-mail or in-person, and when I have a question or problem it is answered promptly. I feel that we are really valued as students which makes the course all the more pleasant. 

What advice would you give to a prospective student coming to study your course?
No matter if you are an expert in diplomacy and international security or know nothing, rest assured that there will be enough in the course to challenge the experienced ones, and plenty of opportunity for those who know nothing to gain valuable knowledge in such an important subject area. Be prepared to read a lot and debate a lot, but it is all in good spirit and is a lot of fun!

What are your ambitions for the future and how do you think your time at Strathclyde will help you to achieve your goals?
I hope to eventually go on to complete a PhD in History with a particular focus on Arab nationalist history. This is an aspiration that has grown throughout this Masters course through the encouragement of staff instilling the belief that I can make it to the top. In the meantime, I have been looking at careers in national security and hope to be successful in interviews for roles in this sector in the near future.