[skip to content]

Fiona O’Cleirigh

If you have ever wondered why you are the only person you know who is remotely interested in the Sogdian language, Achaemenid legal codes or Biblical references to the playing of the lute, take heart. SOAS is waiting for you.

MA Global Media and Postnational Communication

Life begins at 40, they say, and for me that turning point took place at SOAS. With experience of both work and raising a family, I was keen to explore the world through study.

I was drawn to the university’s outstanding reputation in my area of interest (the Middle East, particularly Iran) as well as the availability of postgraduate programmes that could complement a career in journalism.

Initial nervousness about returning to college disappeared in the face of shared intellectual pursuits. I soon discovered that the enthusiasm of younger students is contagious – and that older students are among the most vocal!

Studying while bringing up children can be hard, not least financially, and support from family and friends counts for a lot. The SOAS careers and counselling staff are also invaluable. But the academic year goes by all too quickly, and the professional benefits make the difficulties worthwhile.

My chosen focus on media and politics of the Middle East enabled me to get a job in television production with a regional broadcaster, which was fantastic. However, the lasting joy of SOAS lies in having found a place where the obscure becomes the norm.

If you have ever wondered why you are the only person you know who is remotely interested in the Sogdian language, Achaemenid legal codes or Biblical references to the playing of the lute, take heart. SOAS is waiting for you.