SOAS University of London

Jessica Blomfield, 1st Year

The Department of Development Studies has a high calibre of lecturers and tutors with a wide range of backgrounds. My teachers have been really inspiring, and are always open to questions and feedback.

MSc Environment, Politics and Development
SOAS has a great reputation. I’d heard stories from friends studying there and it sounded like a very unique and important place to be.

The MSc Environment, Politics and Development looked really exciting - I was particularly drawn to the political ecology component, as I think this discipline brings an important social and political perspective to environmental studies.  The flexibility of the programme was also a big draw.

The Department of Development Studies has a high calibre of lecturers and tutors with a wide range of backgrounds. My teachers have been really inspiring, and are always open to questions and feedback. SOAS offers such an open environment that fosters creative learning and encourages students to be proactive.

I love my programme because it brings so many perspectives to environmental issues – it’s made me see the environment in a totally new light. Each one of my courses has given me a new perspective on seeing important issues in the world today. SOAS really gives you the skills to think critically and engage with what you are learning about.

I feel like SOAS has changed my outlook – I’m far more inquisitive and critical, and much more confident academically.

Student profile interview questions

How did you find out about SOAS? 

SOAS has a great reputation. I’d heard stories from friends studying there and it sounded like a very unique and important place to be.

What made you choose to study your chosen degree programme at SOAS? 

This new course at SOAS looked really exciting - I was particularly drawn to the political ecology component, as I think this discipline brings an important social and political perspective to environmental studies.  The flexibility of the programme was also a big draw.

How would you describe your time at SOAS? 

Exciting, intellectually stimulating, challenging, rewarding, and full of interesting people and outstanding teaching staff.

How would characterise SOAS and the typical SOAS student? 

SOAS is an incredibly exciting place to be. There’s always a thought provoking talk or something to get involved in. The typical SOAS student is hard to define due to the diverse range of people you encounter. But everyone seems passionate, engaged, and involved.

How would you describe the course/programme of study/department? 

The development studies department has a high calibre of lecturers and tutors with a wide range of backgrounds. I love my programme because it brings so many perspectives to environmental issues – it’s made me see the environment in a totally new light.

What is it like to live and study in London? 

Living in London is extremely fun and fast-paced, but studying at SOAS feels like a familiar escape in the middle of the city.

Who (or what) is your biggest inspiration or motivation at SOAS and why? 

The other students – I’ve met people of different ages and nationalities, from different academic and professional backgrounds. Everyone brings such an interesting perspective to our tutorial discussions. I’ve learnt a lot.

What is your fondest memory of your time at SOAS? 

Do you have a story or anecdote from your SOAS experience? I’ve really enjoyed it when a lively tutorial debate spills out into lunch. And getting involved with societies, like bee keeping on the roof of the university!

What do you think makes SOAS unique? 

It’s such an open environment that fosters creative learning and encourages students to be proactive.

What impact has SOAS had on your life and outlook? 

I feel like SOAS has changed my outlook – I’m far more inquisitive and critical, and much more confident academically.

What next? What are your plans for the future? 

Studying my masters at SOAS has consolidated my passion for environmental issues. I’d like to get a job in the sector, or take my studies in political ecology further.

What does it mean to you personally to be part of the SOAS community? 

I feel very privileged to be part of a community where people value one another’s inputs, and encourage each other to learn.

Do you have any tips or advice for students applying to SOAS? 

Do it! I spent four years deferring my decision, but I’ve never looked back. I’ve learnt so much this year and loved every second.

Describe SOAS in 3 words

Inspiring, engaging, fun

Is there anything else you would like to say about your course, department or student experience? 

Each one of my courses has given me a new perspective on seeing important issues in the world toda. SOAS really gives you the skills to think critically and engage with what you are learning about. My teachers have been really inspiring, and are always open to questions and feedback.