Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Chris York

MA Conflict Development and Security (part time) | 2007 - 2009

Photo of Chris York

How did you find about the MA Conflict, Development and Security course here at POLIS?
I was previously working as a barman in Newcastle and I got talking to a customer who had been a student here at Leeds University. She told me about the course and I thought it sounded really interesting and it had obviously opened up a lot of opportunities for her.

What made you decide to do this MA programme?
I had always been interested in conflict as a phenomenon in itself but was eager to learn more about how it related to international politics and ideologies, of which I knew a lot less about.

Why did you choose to study at POLIS?
Apart from the recommendation of the customer I mentioned earlier, the standard of the lecturers really stood out, especially compared to where I studied as an undergraduate (which I won't name).

What do you think of your course so far – How has it matched your expectations?
It's been brilliant, the content is challenging and really interesting and because of the nature of international relations it is constantly evolving so you have to keep up with current affairs. The course also challenges the way in which you think about what you see in the news, forcing you to look further into it and develop a critical understanding of some very complex issues.

What have you enjoyed most about the course so far?
The thing I've gained the most from doing this MA is a new found motivation to work hard on something I really enjoyed. As an undergraduate I was pretty lazy and did the minimal work but since coming to Leeds I’ve been forced to put a lot more effort in which is incredibly rewarding.

You are involved with the Centre for International Relations – can you tell us a bit more about that?
The Centre for International Relations is a non-profit organisation based in Washington D.C that aims to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information relating to IR. This is primarily done through our website www.ia-forum.org. The organisation also hosts a number of events in America and the UK and also runs a student award program, details of which can be found in this bulletin.

What would you say about the facilities in the School and at the University in general?
The library facilities are amazing the only downside being that it's hard to decide what you should read from the massive selection of what's available! The university itself seems to provide opportunities for getting involved in pretty much any activity you could wish for.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?
Make sure you do some reading before the course starts because once it gets going it is very intensive.

Tell us about your favourite lecturer
I got Dr Jason Ralph for 'International Law and Ethics in the War on Terror' last year and he’s really good at getting a whole seminar group involved in lively debates.

What do you hope to be doing once you graduate?
I aim to make my next priority learning a second language so I would like to do some kind of volunteer project in Spain or Central America.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I recently joined the University gym in an effort to counteract years of teenage excess and I also enjoy photography and occasionally strumming a guitar.

What are your plans for the future?
Nothing set in stone, I'm going to leave my options open and see what opportunities arise.

Is there anything you would change about POLIS?
Less stairs to the POLIS floor!

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