Daniel Dunleavy, Sixth Form Student 2010-2012

 

  • Studied A Level history, psychology and English language.
  • Graduated with First Class honors at the University of Kent studying BA(Hons) in Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent.  
  • Won the School of Politics and International Relation's Colin Seymour-Ure prize for best undergraduate dissertation.
  • Graduated with distinction at the University of Kent studying Master of Arts in International Relations.
  • Won the John Burton Prize for best overall performance in an MA programme, and the Global Society prize for best MA dissertation.
  • Currently a PhD student in International Relations and Assistant lecturer at the University of Kent.  A full time researcher but also a teacher who leads seminars.

Where did I go after leaving St Edward's and what did I do?

I left St Edward's in 2012 and moved to the city of Canterbury to read for a BA (Hons) in Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent.  I was fascinated by the world of politics and decided to pursue this further.  I wanted to discover the motives of political behaviour, the relations that define how governments of the world interact, and ultimately, wanted to gain the skills necessary for a career in diplomacy.

Politics is remarkably multi-disciplinary, and of necessity, brings together different subjects under its roof. The subjects I studied at A Level: history, psychology and English language came in amazing use.  History can never be removed form politics; one cannot understand contemporary politics either within, or outside of states, without considering the history that gives meaning to contemporary politics.  Psychology was vital for the training I received in research methods, the rigorous scientific standards of which are applied in the study of political science today.  Renowned psychological investigations such as Milgram's 'obedience to authority' and Zimbardo's 'Stanford prison study' are used to shown individual level explanations of violence in conflict studies.  Psychology also cannot be divorced form the study of political negotiation and mediation.  English Language was useful in understanding how language can construct one's reality, and prepares one to study key political approaches such as post-structuralism.  St Edward's really prepared me well for my undergraduate study.

In 2015, I graduated my BA with a First Class Honours, and was fortunate enough to win the School of Politics and International Relation's Colin Seymour-Ure prize for best undergraduate dissertation.  I enjoyed my BA so much I decided to embark on further study, and undertake a Master of Arts in International Relations also at the University of Kent.  My ambition of a diplomatic career however has now changed; I was determined to have a career in academia.  To become an academic one has to see a job as a Junior Lecturer within a university, but first, one has to obtain a PhD.  The government does not fund PhD students, meaning the only way I could enrol on a PhD is if I was awarded a scholarship.  My MA became a battle to get the highest marks possible in the hope that I would be funded.  I graduated my MA in November of this year with Distinction. I was also fortunate enough to win the John Burton prize for best overall performance in an MA programme, and the Global Society prize for best MA Dissertation.

What am I doing now?

I am now a PhD student in International Relations and Assistant Lecturer at the University of Kent.  I am a full time researcher but also a teacher who leads seminars.  My thesis is entitled 'The Uses and Abuses of Grand Theory', and I intend to provide a contemporary assessment of grand theory in the study of international relations. My thesis builds upon research completed for both my BA and MA dissertations.  Each dissertation provided an assessment of a particular grand theory in international relations. Aside from grand theory, I am also working in critical conflict studies examining the felt human experience of war.

A fuller description of my work can be found via my University of Kent staff profile: https://www.kent.ac.uk/politics/staff/assistant-lecturers/dunleavy.html

My twitter is a professional account where I advertise updates on my work regularly @dunleavydan

If anybody is interested in studying for a politics degree at Kent, feel free to contact me via St Edward's School. 

Chris Gray - 2007-2009

  

  • Studied music, maths and physics.
  • Graduated from University of Kent at Undergraduate.
  • Graduated from Virginia Tech Polytechnic at the Washington Alexandria Architecture Centre in Washington DC at Postgraduate.
  • Working at John Pardey Architects in Lymington
  • Continuing studies in 2018 to become a fully chartered architect.

Where did I go after leaving St Edward's and what did I do?

Whilst at St Edward's I studied music, maths and physics.  I then went on to study Architecture, at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate level at the University of Kent, and Virginia Tech Polytechnic at the Washington Alexandria Architecture Centre in Washington DC

What am I doing now?

I am now working as a Part 2 Architectural Assistant at John Pardey Architects in Lymington, designing one-off houses, and looking to start my Part 3 studies at the University of Portsmouth in 2018 to become a fully chartered architect

Advice for current and potential Sixth Form students

Make the most of any and all opportunities given to you, you never know what will become relevant in your future career.  It is important to take your exams seriously, but my tip would be that it is just a stepping stone - always look forwards to that dream job or career.

I am more than happy to chat to anybody looking at architecture as a possible career.

Callum Naden 2007-2008 

  • Studied AS Levels in biology, physics and psychology.  Studied A levels in maths and PE.
  • Worked at St Ann's Mental Health Hospital as a Support Worker
  • Trained as a Mental Health Nurse
  • Currently a Band 6 Senior in the community as a Mental Health Nurse.

Where did I go after leaving St Edward's and what did I do?

I was in the Sixth Form in the years 2007-2008 and undertook biology, physics and psychology as AS Level and then full A Levels in maths and PE.  I then went on to work at St Ann's Mental Health Hospital as a support worker and was due to go into the police until they cut funding before my interview.  I then had a change in career and trained as a Mental Health Nurse.

What am I doing now?

Following this, I am now a Band 6 Senior in the Community as a Mental Health Nurse and really enjoying it.

Advice for current and potential Sixth Form students

I would say to those in the Sixth Form that it is important to get those grades, but at that stage of life there is also more.  Not only is it time to prepare for adulthood it is a good time to develop yourself as a person.   You have the chance to build confidence and those important life skills that you need.  My main tip would be to just keep going as life can sometimes take you on a strange course but you'll get there in the end.

Hannah Worth 2008-2010

  • Studied AS product design, AQA extended project, A Levels in psychology, history and English literature
  • Was Head Girl
  • Studied psychology at Durham University and worked as a family liaison officer at HMP Durham in the visitor centre
  • Worked as an interventions facilitator at HM YOI Aylesbury
  • Studying a MSc in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism programme at University College London

Where did I go after leaving St Edward's and what did I do?

I attended St Edward's in 2005-2008 and made the decision to stay for the Sixth Form between 2008 and 2010.  In that time, I studied product design to AS level, the AQA Extended project, as well as psychology, history and English literature to A Level.  During my time in the Sixth Form I was lucky enough to be head girl, as well as given the change to participate in both the school orchestra and choir.  Upon leaving the Sixth Form, I took up a place at Durham University to study psychology.  During my time there, I was also fortunate enough to be able to work at HMP Durham in the Visitor Centre as a family liaison officer.  It was through this work I established an interest in Forensic/criminal psychology.

What am I doing now?

Before September I was working as an Interventions facilitator at HM YOI Aylesbury.  This job primarily saw me delivering psychology-based rehabilitation programmes to high risk violent young offenders.  During my time in this job role I developed a keen interest in Radicalisation and Terrorism programme; I am due to graduate in September 2017.

Advice for current and potential Sixth Form students

My advice for any current/potential Sixth formers is fairly cliche but; don't worry if you have no idea what you want to do at uni or in life.  Opportunities will present themselves as you move through your education and you will discover job niches that you never knew existed.  Equally, if like me in Sixth form, you have your 5 year plan sorted in your mind, be prepared to be flexible and remain open to new opportunities.  Another, more practical piece of advice is: make sure you spend time on things other than your studies like volunteering.  Employers and universities want to see evidence that you are a "well rounded" individual.