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Multicultural teaching environment: first year at Aston University, second year at Sciences Po Lille, France.
An innovative, 2-year Masters programme taught in Birmingham and in Lille, which offers students an internationally-oriented understanding of European and international affairs. Students spend the second semester of Year 2 of this programme undertaking an EU-focused internship.
The subject guide and modules: The following module descriptions are indications only - the modules on offer and the content of the modules is subject to change.
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2:1 degree in Social Science, Language or a related subject. Other degrees might be suitable depending on personal statement and motivation. Working knowledge of French language (CEFR B2)
Our students develop an entrepreneurial mind-set, enabling them to start their own companies, join fast growing SMEs and innovate within multinational organisations. Our graduates are highly sought after, because of their practical skills and ability to apply knowledge. They are supported by inspirational teachers with real world, industry experience.Read more
The double MA in Europe and the World is a two year course, with a semester at the prestigious Institut d’Etudes Politiques (IEP) in Lille, France and a six month internship. I had already visited Aston University and knew that I wanted to study there. What's more, studying and living in the centre of a city as vibrant as Birmingham was another reason I was drawn to this university. I was also really lucky with regards to financial support at Aston University - I applied for two scholarships and was accepted for both! I chose the Double MA because I felt that such a unique qualification which combines academic work, the opportunity to improve my language skills as well as allowing me to gain practical experience in a related internship would make me stand out when applying for jobs.
Since graduating I secured a traineeship at the European Commission. I was a Blue Book Trainee in the Citizens Contact Unit of the Directorate General (DG) for Communication at the European Commission. One of my main roles was to liaise with directorate generals to find answers to complex EU policy-related enquiries sent to the Commission by organisations and the public. I organised promotional events, helped to write, edit and design publications and worked on internal and external communication including briefings and on social and online media. To gain a deeper understanding of the different policy areas on which I worked, I was also able to attend regular conferences, seminars, training sessions and press briefings. Alongside my responsibilities through the Citizens Contact Unit, I was elected the spokesperson for DG Communication which meant that I represented the trainees from my DG and was the link person between them, the traineeship committee and office of traineeships. One module I studied at Aston which I found to be particularly useful in this role was "International Political Communication, Advocacy and Campaigning". I thoroughly enjoyed this module and I was able to use the knowledge I gained from it in my work on communication campaigns at the Commission.
I am currently a Financial Services Research Assistant at a public affairs consultancy in Brussels. My role involves researching and monitoring updates in the EU institutions and in the press on different dossiers; attending relevant events; liaising with EU officials on developments on particular dossiers; drafting reports, bulletins and updates on EU policy, and attending debates and votes in parliamentary committees at the European Parliament.
All I can say is that the double-MA was a great academic and human experience. It allowed me to grasp both French and British perspectives of the EU affairs and international relations. I really enjoyed the international and multicultural atmosphere of both Aston's campus and Birmingham. In a world where people are getting more and more mistrustful and intolerant towards others, where people are cutting themselves off of the wealth of differences rather than gathering around diversity... Studying at Aston was a luck.
The first year at Aston, highly academic and oriented on research, is very complementary with the second year in Lille, where the lectures were more practical. Thanks to the added-value of this background, we have been able to find very interesting final placements. I am now working as "chargé de mission pour la coopération" (cooperation attaché or cultural attaché) in the French Embassy to Bahrain. I have signed this contract while I was still a trainee in Brussels. And I arrived in Manama only one month after the end of this traineeship in the EP. My mission consists in developing and enhancing the bilateral ties and cooperation partnerships between France and Bahrain, in the fields of culture, heritage, education and university affairs.
I have to say the double-MA was a perfect opportunity to benefit from a valuable knowledge and understanding of the diplomacy challenges and international relations. I was happy to put these "tools" into practice in Brussels at a "European scale" while working for the EU relations with the Arab world. I am now working on the ground. At the end of this mission, in one or two years, I guess I would come back in Europe for a final formation (e.g. College of Europe, SOAS, INALCO) prior to the preparation of the examinations to get in the French or EU diplomacy, or prior to a researcher career.
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