Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Christopher Leslie MP Politics and Parliamentary Studies 1994

"The practical experience gained from my months in Washington DC working for a Congressman and my time in Westminster was invaluable in broadening my interest and knowledge about the political process. At 27, I became the youngest MP in the 1997 election." 

Who's been here?

Our graduates can be found in many careers, including the media, civil service, political research and analysis and international organisations, such as the UN and the World Bank and non-governmental organisations in the UK or overseas.

Here are just a few of our notable alumni. Where will your studies take you?

Kamal Ahmed Political Studies 1990

Kamal worked at The Observer for seven years as political editor and latterly as head of news responsible for the paper's news coverage. In this role, he covered the 2001 General Election, the fall-out from the September 11 attacks, the run up to the Iraq war and its aftermath and the death of the Government scientist, Dr David Kelly. He guided the paper's coverage of the 7 July terror attacks and the 2005 general election and was one of the team that re-created the paper into its present configuration.

Kamal started his career in Scotland where he won Young Reporter of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year in the Scottish Press Awards. Kamal is presently Communications Director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Kamal recently featured in The Observer (November 2008) with a piece entitled: 'After Obama, I can be proud of what I really am: black and white'

Ian Bruff BA Politics (1999), MA International Political Economy (2000), Doctor of Philosophy PhD (2005)

Dr Bruff is Liasion Officer for the Critical Political Economy Research Network of the European Sociological Association and a lecturer in the Politics Department of Manchester University. Ian's new book, Culture and Consensus in European Varieties of Capitalism: A 'Common Sense' Analysis (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), based on the PhD he completed here at Leeds, has just been short listed for the BISA International Political Economy prize.

Zaki Cooper Politics and Parliamentary Studies 1999

Zaki is the director of Business for New Europe, an independent coalition of business leaders who put forward a positive case for reform in Europe. He is also active in inter-faith affairs, serving as a Trustee of the Council of Christians and Jews, and as an adviser to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

Polly Curtis Politics 2000 

Polly has been the education correspondent for The Guardian since 2002. She was CIPR Education Journalist of the Year, 2005.

Jon Holmes Political Studies 1971 

Jon is the Chairman and CEO of Jon Holmes Media, and manager of top UK sports personalities. He also contributes to the national press, and is a creator of sports television shows, including "They Think It's All Over".

Lord Philip Hunt of Kings Heath, OBE Political Studies 1970 

Lord Hunt is a former parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Health. He recently appeared (5 February 2009) in The Independent with a piece entitled 'A legal career can take you to the top' on how he wants to open up the legal profession to talented students from all backgrounds.

Christopher Leslie MP Politics and Parliamentary Studies 1994

At 27, Christopher became the youngest MP in the 1997 election. 

Anthea Lipsett French and Politics 1998 

Andrea is an education reporter for The Guardian.

James Mates International History and Politics 1983 

James is a senior correspondent and presenter for ITN.

Baroness Usha Prashar CBE Political Studies 1970 

Baroness Prashar has been the Chair of the Judicial Appointments Committee since 2006. She was the First Civil Service Commissioner from 2000 to 2005, and is the Chairman of the National Literary Trust and Chairman of the Royal Commonwealth Society. She was awarded as Honorary LLD in 2004.  Baroness Usha has also been named in the Government's Committee of inquiry into the Iraq war.

Professor Gary Rawnsley Political Studies 1991

Gary Rawnsley is taught at the University of Leeds as Professor of Asian International Communications, having spent twelve years in the School of Politics at Nottingham University and two as Dean of the University of Nottingham, Ningbo China. While his principal interest is Asia, Professor Rawnsley maintains active research in international communications and has published in such areas as propaganda, information operations, international broadcasting (especially the BBC and Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Liberty and Radio Free Asia), soft power and public diplomacy.

Jay Rayner Political Studies 1987 

Jay is a restaurant critic and feature writer for The Observer. He is also a former writer for The Guardian, Arena and Cosmopolitan. He was the Leeds Student (now The Gryphon) editor between 1987 and 1988.

The Rt. Hon. Clare Short Political Studies 1968 

Ms Short is the MP for Birmingham Ladywood (independent). She was the first Secretary of State for the Department for International Development, created by the Labour government in 1997, and held the ministry from 1997 to 2003.

Lisa Woodman Geography and Politics 1993 

Lisa is the publisher of The Big Issue.

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