Let’s Go London: UCL



University College London Visit (June 6)
by Ellen Meader (University of Michigan)

The first university we visited as a whole group was the University College London (UCL). We had three presentations by faculty and a student panel with two Marshall Scholars and a Fulbright Scholar.

Vice-Dean Ruth Mandel highlighted the nine different master’s programs in Anthropology which are one-year taught degrees. The UCL Anthropology (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/anthropology) department is one of only a few broad based departments in the UK. Students complete a 15K-word thesis. In addition, the department offers internships, volunteer opportunities, and collaborations with partner universities.

Dr. Daniel Miller introduced us to an anthropological study of social media called “Why We Post” which is an amazing global research project involving nine UCL anthropologists who studied the role of social media in people’s lives in different countries for 15 months. This project offers 11 free open access books and a free 5-week online course. Check it out! (www.ucl.ac.uk/why-we-post).

Dr. Tristan McCowan from the Institute of Education presented information on the multidisciplinary programs in the Institute. He challenged us with the question: What is the role of education in international development, especially higher education, in lower income countries that have resource constraints?


Student Panel: Joanna Petrescu & Russell Beaumont (Marshall Scholars), Eleanor Burgess (Fulbright Scholar)



Q: How would you advise students to find the right program of study?
A: Look at the actual coursework that you’ll be doing, don’t just look for the name of the program.
A: Look for faculty who are doing the type of research you’re interested in doing and contact them. Ask your current PI/Advisor if you can mention their name, especially if they are well known in your field.

Q: What is different from your undergraduate studies?
A: You need to take more initiative to make connections with faculty.
A: There is a lot more reading and a lot more writing at a high level (I.e., higher quality).
A: You may have only one assessment at the end of the term (e.g., paper or exam), so you need to keep up with the work and develop a relationship with your professors, and meet with them if you are having any issues.
A: You learn a lot from other international students – offer different perspectives and experiences.
Q: What advice would you give to students interested in applying for the Marshall Scholarship?
A: Essays are important in how you piece things together, such as your background and what you want to study. It’s not just a linear process.
A: Look into potential programs of study early, especially if it’s a research based program. You will need to contact faculty, especially if you want to pursue a Ph.D.
Mary Denyer comment: It really matters what students want to do in Year 1 and Year 2. Year 1 is usually what is done. Year 2 may be different – students can talk to professors at UK institutions to make sure Year 2 is the best fit.

So many more posts to come, including more from London:  NAFAn are traveling at breakneck speed & posts WILL catch up eventually.  Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here are some photos of our busy crew in London:

Author: uknafa2016

We are members of the National Association of Fellowship Advisors touring institutions of higher education in the United Kingdom in order to better advise high-achieving students in the United States who wish to pursue graduate degrees in the UK.

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