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MA Government Studies: Extracurricular opportunities

The extracurricular opportunities on offer on the MA Government Studies

Martin Stolliday

The Strand Group’s new Master’s Programme, Government Studies, will have at its heart a focus on our cohort of students. As my colleagues, Dr Jack Brown and Dr Michelle Clement have set out, (here and here) this will mean unrivalled small cohort teaching opportunities with tutorials and institutional partnerships with government departments such as No.10 Downing Street and HM Treasury.  

Students on our Programme will also benefit from access to current policy makers and the wider Strand Group and Policy Institute community. We have an outstanding cadre of Visiting Fellows from the worlds of government, politics, the media, government affairs, the military, and the Bank of England. Our Visiting Fellows are integral to the work we do. They give and attend events, come to networking events with students and are on hand to speak to students about their work, whether this is giving interviews for dissertations or helping as an external sounding board. As a student with us you will have privileged access to this network. 

Throughout the academic year The Strand Group puts on a range of events. This is part of an event series that has now been running for over twenty years. Starting as the Mile End Group in 2003 Jon (now Professor) Davis and a group of like-minded PhD students started putting on a regular seminar series to discuss their work. As contemporary historians focused on government, the opportunity quickly arose to invite civil servants to discuss relevant topics. Under Jon’s leadership the Mile End Group started to receive sponsorship and the scale and scope of the events grew into what it is today. There have been 174 events in total with former Prime Ministers, senior civil servants and a host of notable names. The Strand Group’s event series is the networking arm of the MA Government Studies. Students will have places at these events, the opportunity to attend dinners with the speakers and meet likeminded professionals with which to network and improve soft skills.

Beyond the high-profile events series we are planning several trips and visits just for our own MA Government Studies cohort. These include tours and trips to places like No.10 Downing Street, HM Treasury and the Bank of England. Drinks receptions and dinners, a tour of prime minister’s portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, a trip to Edinburgh to discuss Scottish devolution with political leadership from all political parties, trips to the British Embassy in Paris and the US embassy in London.  

We believe that post graduate education should go beyond lectures and seminars broadening horizons, growing networks and obtaining wider skills. The MA Government studies will put students in the best possible position to achieve their highest ambitions.