Daniel’s thoughts about the International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response BSc
What did you study at college?
Having applied to HCRI as a mature student, my A-levels seem like a distant memory now – nearly ten years ago! Back then I studied humanities subjects: Sociology, Politics, English and Geography. Since then I have worked, travelled and studied trying to work out what it is I wanted to do with my life. After becoming interested and later involved with organisations in the humanitarian sector I realised how important a degree in a relevant subject is in order to find work – it is an extremely difficult area to get involved in, it takes study, dedication and commitment.
Why did you choose International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response (IDMHR) rather than another course?
The University of Manchester is one of the only places in the country where you can do this kind of BSc and after applying for the first year of the new course, meeting the teaching staff and seeing the University I knew that it was right for me. I’ve had an interest in emergency response, humanitarian work, global health and international politics for a long time and this was the perfect course to choose as it covers a very broad spectrum of topics, giving the opportunity for focus down on more specific areas later in the course.
What have you enjoyed the most so far about the course?
The teaching staff are great and the material so far has been engaging and interesting. Moreover, there are film screenings, guest speakers and lectures as well as other events run by HCRI every week, which enhance the whole experience so much more. It is only the end of my first semester and I have already rubbed shoulders with speakers and academics from all over the world. There was also the opportunity to study a minor subject alongside the BSc and I have taken up French (beginner’s level) which is very fast paced! I’d recommend looking into doing a language minor if you are applying for this course – being able to speak a second language in this sector is invaluable!
What are your plans for after you graduate?
Part of the reason I chose this course was to help focus my areas of interest within the sector and so I’m unsure of exactly what path I will take after Manchester – there are master’s courses available in specific subject areas as well as opportunities to work and study all over the world, so I feel that I have a great range of options available to me.
Is there anything you would like to say to anyone applying to this course?
If I was to give some advice to people applying to this course it would be this: don’t apply just because you think it sounds cool, you don’t know what to want to do, or you have a vague interest – apply because this is exactly what you want to do. The best thing that I ever did was to take a few years out after sixth form to decide what it was I wanted to study – if you don’t know what it is you want to study, go out and explore the world, work, travel, meet people and you’ll soon find out. Your friends will still be here when you get back!