Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Rory Stewart

International Relations (with work placement year) | 2010 - 2014

Photo of Rory Stewart

About me

I attended Wellington College (Berkshire) before Leeds University. I am keen on joining the Military as an Army Officer and have been successful in the selection process, and am due to attend the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in June 2014. I also like to travel and have worked in the Czech Republic, Bosnia, Israel / Palestine and Germany. I plan to work late next summer in Lebanon and Turkey.

Why I applied for International Relations at Leeds

Whilst at school I had the opportunity of going on trips to countries like India, Jordon and to United Nation institutions in Paris. It was seeing these mechanisms for International Relations early on (GCSE/A-Level period) that really cemented the concept that IR is what I wanted to study, and that I wanted to study it at a top university.

My Course

I have found that the contact with my various tutors and lecturers to be excellent. The POLIS staff are helpful and experienced in drawing out your intellectual potential.  But most of all they are kind and patient, in a one to one meeting with a member of staff, I have never felt like ‘just another student.’

Looking beyond the library and the seminar room, to implementing the knowledge I have gained as a POLIS Undergrad in the real world. Understanding and getting to grips with theory is great, but I have found you get an even greater sense of understanding and achievement when you put it to use outside of the academic environment.

Leeds as a city

The City of Leeds is perhaps one of the most diverse ‘University Towns/cities’ I have been to. It offers great restaurants towards the centre, alongside excellent shopping. Logistically, Leeds City Train Station has direct connections to some of the UK’s major cities, Manchester, London, Edinburgh, even to towns on the opposite side of the UK like Exeter!

University facilities and non academic activities

The University of Leeds happily and justifiably boasts an impressive Library collection, both in hard copy and online. Whist this can appear daunting to the fresh undergrad trying to find one book on a topic, the Library staff are experienced and have always provided me with my literary requirements.

Personally I take part in the University of Leeds Officer Training Corp (LUOTC), as this supports a lot of my academic and personal goals. The OTC provides a strong and dedicated personal development programme that is not just aimed at military skills, but also in developing students Leadership and teamwork skills. Whilst also being a lot of fun with adventure training opportunities like hiking, skiing and diving.

My placement

I wanted to connect with aspects of my academic study in a practical way. I also wanted to go out of my comfort zone, put some of those theories I learned in the Lecture theatres to test on the ground. The work placement year offers nine months in industry. I chose to undertake three different placements at three month intervals.

September – December 2012- I worked in East Jerusalem, Israel for the Palestine-Israel Journal. The journal focused on social, politic and economic issues in the region. I provided administrational and literary support to the publishers and was able to publish a few articles myself on their website. I also got part time (weekend) work as an online vocal reporter in the West Bank for a Palestinian Media centre.

January- April 2013 - Interning at the new Strategy and Security Institute (SSI) within the University of Exeter’s social sciences faculty for retired Lieutenant-General Professor Sir Paul Newton KBE. The institute was getting ready to start its first cohort of its flagship Masters in Applied Strategy and Security (MSTRATT), so every task I did was geared towards this event. I also worked part-time at Westminster as an independent researcher for a Member of Parliament. 

April- July 2013The final stage of my work placement year was spent at the George C. Marshall Centre for Security Studies (GCMC) in Bavaria, Germany. Here I did a lot of work in Cyber Security, counter-narcotics and international terrorism.

My plans upon graduating

I will join the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and take a commission in the Army Reserves, whilst applying for a Masters to start in late 2014.

© Copyright Leeds 2016