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Unlocking the world through mastering international security: Jess’ story

Jess talks about studying MA International Security and how the diverse cohort, topics covered, and teaching staff contributed to her experience at Bath.

MA International Security graduate Jess Russell talks about how the course helped her to further her understanding of society’s current global geo-political challenges.

My journey from home to global perspectives

I’m originally from a small village in Oxfordshire and went to the University of York to study history, specialising in modern world history.

Having also been active with organisations like Amnesty International, where I was vice president of the University’s society; and SolidariTee, I worked to raise awareness for the ongoing refugee crisis, I found the geopolitical aspects of human rights issues captivating.

I was keen to continue my learning and apply my new-found history knowledge to contemporary global challenges. I found MA International Security at Bath and the modules covered all the issues I really wanted to learn more about.

Connecting with worldwide learners

During this course, I gained skills beyond a qualification. The diversity of the international cohort enabled me to engage with like-minded individuals from all over the world – I studied alongside people from Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America.

The teaching staff brought a range of career backgrounds and experiences to the classroom, too. They encouraged openness, pushed us to challenge any biases we had and stimulated debate on current affairs.

During my second semester, we had a module on Russian politics and were given safe space to debate and explore the war in Ukraine's implications on Russian politics and broader security dynamics. Looking at why and how global powers act as they do was exactly what I wanted to delve into.

‘During this course, I gained skills beyond a qualification. The diversity of the international cohort enabled me to engage with like-minded individuals from all over the world.’
Jess Russell MA International Security (2023)

Beyond the books and classroom

The campus itself is a great setting for learning - we frequently found ourselves carrying on debates after class in the campus cafes and, on sunny days, by the lake. And we got to study in a dedicated space on-site for postgraduate students that felt like our own.

Beyond campus, I regularly ventured to the Bath Guildhall Market, home to a number of unique and independent stalls, discovering all the charms of the city. And, of course, some of the great local pubs provided central meeting places for us to unwind and continue with some engaging conversations on the subject we were immersed in.

Discovering self-confidence in a supportive community

The transition from undergraduate to postgraduate studies can be significant, but Bath has a very robust support system which eases the journey so that you can really maximise your time studying here.

The course changes the way you think and opens your mind. I feel more confident in my ability to debate and think generally and particularly within the academic sphere. I’m more able to express opinions on complex issues, advancing my abilities to construct and articulate compelling arguments as well as thinking through policy recommendations. The feedback and support from course tutors really encouraged this throughout your time at Bath.

Attending the summer ball with fellow students marked a lovely way to conclude the year. And, of course, there was graduation day - a brilliant celebration of everyone's hard work.

Are you interested in studying MA International Security at Bath?

Find out more about this course