Student Stories

From the Lab to the Mind

The University of Sussex’s MA Environment, Development and Policy was a whole new ballgame that I underestimated. I graduated from my BSc in Environmental Science in Bangor, Wales last year and got accepted to read Development Studies in the prestigious institution for the next academic term.

Bazil Shahriman
Studied in University of Sussex MA Environment, Development and Policy

I knew what I was going into. I had read up on social studies, explored economic concepts, and pondered social psychology and philosophy in my own time – dabbing into a few books and articles here and there. I even had social conflict scenarios, debates, and case studies during my time studying Environmental Science. I had no formal background on the social sciences but “How hard could it be right?”

Famous last words.
The simple underestimation led to a transformation of a few articles of essential reading to a multitude of Wikipedia pages just trying to find definitions for stuff like “New Institutionalist Economics” or the various interpretations of Marxism. The pure amount of social theories I had to suddenly become an expert on overnight was overwhelming. Half the time in lectures and seminars, my peers led discussions out of my sphere of knowledge. A rocket scientist could explain the engineering of thermal aerodynamics and it would make more sense to me.

That last bit was an exaggeration because my cousin who is an aeronautics engineer did that and it made about the same sense, that is to say close to none, but you get the idea.

That being said, I genuinely did enjoy my (short) time in Sussex simply due to the vast international exposure you get from both the university and the course. I got perspectives and opinions I couldn’t get from my previous course, especially since it was a bit more objective too.

I didn’t regret taking the leap I did, but for those who are planning on doing the same thing, my advice is to not underestimate it. Prepare yourself!

University of Sussex
Brighton View Profile