Source: Swansea University
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Swansea University: Life-changing master’s degrees for international students

A Swansea University master’s degree is life-changing. Shenae Kris-Ann Jonas from Jamaica, and recent graduate of the MA Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology degree is confident it will transform her career. She aims to work in victim/offender binary research and contribute to research that will further explain how past victimisation can lead to criminalisation.

“The structure of the course was aligned with my primary interests, running in tandem with my career trajectory. My course tackled the incidence of crime, factors that influence crime and possible policy options to respond to criminal events,” she says. “Understanding the criminogenic features of the society we live in and finding ways to fix the pervasive crime and violence issue happening globally is of great importance.”

Jonas is confident of her future. She has been part of a vibrant academic and research community, continuously equipping her to meet the challenges posed by the ever-shifting landscapes of criminology and criminal justice. She has learned about the causes of crime, the criminal justice system, and other cutting-edge themes, supported by academics with real-world experience. She has attended guest talks by senior criminal justice practitioners, managers, and policymakers.

Now, she feels ready to chart her path in a range of potential careers in the public and private sectors, NGOs as well as research and academia. For this, she credits the MA’s small lecture groups, thought-provoking discourse, emphasis on critical thinking, practical approach, and industry guest experts.

These features are part of all School of Social Sciences master’s programmes. While their content and format may differ, the goal remains the same: ensuring students achieve their aspirations.

Source: Swansea University

Huafeng Yu found the MA Education “comprehensive” and encouraged her to think critically and reflectively. Source: Swansea University

For example, the MA Education uses evidence-based research/enquiry to support education practitioners at every level. Students evolve into graduates with relevant and wide-ranging educational experience, combined with practical expertise — preparing them for further research or study within social sciences, or careers in the education sector, policy work, research and development.

“From education theory to special needs and cultural diversity, we covered a wide range of topics that provided me with a comprehensive understanding of education,” shares Huafeng Yu. “The course encouraged me to think critically and reflectively, as well as to become more open-minded and compassionate towards others.”

Education is ranked Top 200 in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024). Research work is policy-focused and policy-responsive. In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, 100% of the research environment in the Education, Sociology and Social Policy unit of assessment was rated as being internationally excellent and of world-leading quality.

Source: Swansea University

For Elmer Mercado, the MSc Economics was a pathway to a high-ranking political role in the Philippine Congress. Source: Swansea University

Elmer Mercado, an MSc Economics graduate, shared that his degree served as a “ticket” to becoming hired as a lead policy staff member of a senator in the Philippine Congress. “The course also helped my preparation to complete my PhD in urban regional planning with a focus on social and ecosystem dynamics in resource governance and tenure rights,” he adds.

Mercado’s career has taken him around the world and he credits his MSc with giving him the academic and technical skills, as well as a more strategic and progressive mindset towards his work and how it contributes to his country’s development.

What Mercado’s career shows is that Swansea’s students develop the skills and expertise required of a professional economist. They have the ability to understand and conduct innovative research in both theoretical and applied situations. Business and Management Studies, including Economics, is ranked in the Top 175 in the world (THE World University Rankings 2023) and its research environment is rated as 100% conducive to producing research of internationally excellent or world-leading quality (REF 2021).

Source: Swansea University

Nnamdi Nwaka said the MSc Economics enhanced his research skills. Source: Swansea University

Another MSc Economics graduate Nnamdi Nwaka is now a Finance Officer for the Swansea Bay University Health Board (NHS Wales). “My choice to study Economics was based on my passion for research, having discovered my interest and skill in data collection, analysis, and forecasting,” he says. “I have always sought avenues to increase my knowledge and skills in research which I believe are required for research processes that face economists. Swansea University provides the platform to acquire this advanced knowledge.”

Similarly, MA International Relations graduates can progress to rewarding careers in government and politics, United Nations organisations, the Foreign Office, and humanitarian organisations. Before graduating, they have regular opportunities to engage and network with guest speakers and international practitioners in various sectors.

“As an international student it has been an amazing opportunity to study with fellow students and lecturers from around the world,” says student Maya Dotson. “A lot of people are coming from different academic backgrounds as well, which often augments and enriches class discussions.”

In REF 2021, 100% of the impact of research conducted in Politics, International Studies and Media Studies is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Regardless of your chosen programme, you’ll have all the support you need as a Swansea University student. “The university offers a great support system and an impeccable visual and written communication strategy,” Jonas shares. “I have always felt supported and validated; I have never had a concern about my well-being or academic performance that has gone unanswered. The staff generally plays a vital role in ensuring all my needs are met.”

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Employability Team does CV checks, helps students secure industry placements, and offers bespoke guidance on employability endeavours. On top of this, Swansea University houses the Swansea Employability Academy (SEA), which provides a wider service, such as meetings with qualified career consultants, resources to find part-time or graduate jobs, and information on training sessions or career-related events.

SEA goes the extra mile by ensuring you have access to career information, advice, and guidance even after graduation. If you have an idea for a business or are interested in freelance work, SEA’s Enterprise Team can guide you through curriculum modules, case studies, events, and mentors as well.

Visit Swansea University’s School of Social Sciences website for more information on courses available to study.

If you have any questions about studying at Swansea University, please email

To find out more about international student life at Swansea, visit the university’s dedicated international student webpages.

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