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Sociology, Social Policy and CriminologyPart of Economic, Social and Political SciencePostgraduate study

Maryam Kassim Alriyamy MSc Sociology and Social Policy, PhD in Sociology and Social Policy, 2012

Maryam Kassim Alriyamy's Photo

Hi, I'm Maryam Kassim Alriyamy and I studied MSc Sociology and Social Policy, PhD in Sociology and Social Policy within Social Sciences: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology at the University of Southampton.

The University has a diverse student body, which means that it's an excellent opportunity to interact and network with people from all over the world.

Q: Why did you choose to study at the University of Southampton?

I first came to the University of Southampton in 2003. I enrolled on the MSc Sociology and Social Policy.

My initial reason for choosing it was that members of my family were living in Southampton. I also felt that the University had a really good track record, especially after reading about my division.

Q: How did you find your MSc experience?

I was pleased to find that it was exactly where I wanted to be, particularly after a positive meeting with the MSc postgraduate coordinator. Needless to say, my MSc experience was great. I made really good friends who I still keep in touch with, which made the hard work all the more worthwhile, as we discussed our experiences during the course. My MSc experience was why I decided to come back in 2007/08 for the MPhil/PhD.

I've developed respect for the academic staff, who are experts in their field and encourage students to further their academic aspirations.

Q: How do you find the interactive and international environment?

The University has a diverse student body, which means that it's an excellent opportunity to interact and network with people from all over the world. I also share my office space with students from other academic disciplines, which sometimes leads stimulating intellectual debates on current events – well at least when we aren't too engrossed in own postgrad work.

Q: What did you do before starting your PhD?

Before embarking on the MPhil/PhD segment of my life, I was a community health lecturer at Oman Medical College back home. I tailored the course to come from a social science perspective by looking at how social behaviours and beliefs directly impact our perceptions of wellbeing and influence our decisions to seek professional healthcare.

Within the college environment, I sharpened my teaching skills on students whose first language was Arabic not English.

My experience teaching at Oman Medical College made me realise my interest in academic work but I knew that I needed further skills development, as well as qualifications, to teach in an academic environment.

Q: How is your postgraduate degree funded?

My postgraduate study is partially funded by a Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences (LASS) international bursary and partly by myself. Actually I found out about the bursary from my supervisor but the University website documents all the available sources of funding for international students.

Q: How do you find postgraduate life?

Postgraduate life is completely different from undergraduate life because you determine your workload and you are free to pursue your interest in a particular research area. This can be a bit daunting but also absolutely rewarding. I consider my postgraduate course as a full-time job. I have a designated office space, which means I come in every morning with an agenda of what I want to accomplish for the day.

The hardest part is probably sticking to the agenda but the best part is that I am my own boss, except when I have to meet my supervisors. But the fact is that I'm studying, which is motivating, and I enjoy my work.

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