Graduate Profiles

Click on the entries below to see what our graduates have to say about their course and what they are doing now.

Kamaran Palani, MA in Politics and International Relations (Global Security) (2014)

"I often talk to my friends how highly I valued my time at the SPIRE which not only educated me but also challenged me to view the world in various ways.

While at SPIRE you live in a globalized world, with students from different backgrounds and cultures, and engage with globally recognized teaching and research expertise in your area, you will gain a stronger sense and bring depth to your understanding of current events in your own country.

I gained this through discussion, debating, contributing to a thoughtful argument which crossed cultural boundaries.

This was an experience I believe that I would not have been able to enjoy anywhere in the world.”


Kamaran Palani

K Mohammad at Salahaddin University, Department of Political Science, Iraq.

Côme Brocard, current student 2013, currently undertaking MA in Politics and International Relations (Global Security)

I am spending a year at Keele to study my Master’s degree in SPIRE (School of Philosophy, International Relations and Politics) as a foreign student from France. By coming at Keele I meant to improve my knowledge of English language and perspective on International Relations, but also to meet people from different cultures. I must say that those objectives have been more than reached. The lectures of International Relations were very thought-provoking since there were only a few students, therefore debates were possible and the lecturers, as well as all the SPIRE staff, were available and keen to discuss any issue.  As for the social life, living on campus has allowed me to make many friends and to be involved in sport and social activities, such as mountaineering, which are very appreciated breaks from the laptop and the library!  Moreover, I have been able to meet people from everywhere in the University, because of the numerous population of foreign students, which I really enjoyed.

Volkan Akda, MA Dialogue Studies (2012)

In 2011/2012 I studied t he MA in Dialogue Studies in the School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy, at  Keele University. My time at the University is something what I will not forget easily. The campus is similar to a small village. There is such a nice environment and a lot of nature.

The ambiance of the University gives a good feeling to study and it relaxes the mind in a way. I think this is also because the campus is separated from a big city. When you are bored of studying you can take a fresh green walk through the wood of Keele. Or for socialising with fellow student colleagues the Keele Student Union and the KPA is the place to be.

What also really inspired me was the connection with the staff and professors/teachers. They are so open and helpful that it made me really strive for the MA.

Jo Connolly, MA Diplomatic Studies (2010)

jo connolley As a mature student, I was worried about whether I would have the time, finance and support to successfully complete the Masters Degree I needed to help me change career and provide me with better choices for the future. Due to outstanding financial obligations, I could not afford to cut back on my full time work hours or leave work to complete an internship to gain the valuable experience and knowledge I needed to move to a career in International Relations.

Keele offered me the unique opportunity to study a tailored IR Masters Degree programme part time with numerous modular options to suit my area of interest, whilst I continued to work full time with my employer. Throughout the course,I received unparalleled support from the SPIRE course co-ordinator, lecturers and office staff who were extremely helpful friendly, and overall, a real inspiration.

Dean Carroll - European Politics MA (2008-2010; part-time)

Carroll_Dean The range of skills I developed as a postgraduate student in SPIRE from updating my research methods to finding real value in peer learning and improving my presentational style have helped enormously in my professional life.  For example, I researched and wrote a dissertation titled ‘Reshaping Europe in a multi-polar world: can the European Union rise to the challenge?’. Aside from playing a part in my appointment to a new job, the course in general and my independent research in particular also provided a springboard for me to have my work published in academic journals.  I was even offered the chance to speak at a European Union Studies Association conference in Thailand - an opportunity I was happy to accept. If you are considering studying at SPIRE, I say go for it - you won't regret it.

While studying part-time for my MA, I worked as a journalist on Public Servant magazine and its web portal. Following completion of my MA course, I was promoted to be editor of a new European venture called, which launched in March 2011.

Simon Benyon, MA Environmental Politics (2010)

Benyon Choosing to study the MA in Environmental Politics course offered in SPIRE at Keele was a decision based on two things - an exciting course content, combined with the friendly help and guidance I received on visiting the University, which 'sealed the deal'. 

My decision was undoubtedly the right one - the course has been interesting throughout and taught by knowledgeable and supportive staff, who do all they can to help.

Rosemary Atkins, MPhil Philosophy (2011)

Rosemary Atkins

Having spent eight years of my life at Keele, it seems more fitting to call it a home rather than a second home. As I had no interest in Philosophy before beginning at Keele I suddenly found myself surprised at how engrossed I became in the subject, something which I attribute to the brilliant lecturers and the engaging courses that they teach. Not only did I immerse myself in the course, but also in the student-lead Philosophy society, of which I was President for a year, as well as attending the exceptional Royal Institute of Philosophy lecture series.

I graduated from my undergraduate degree in 2009, but found my appetite for gaining knowledge in Philosophy (in particular Philosophy of Mind and the works of Richard Rorty) was not yet satiated, and so I embarked on my M.Phil. During this course I studied numerous and contrasting approaches to the problem of mental causation in Philosophy of Mind, culminating in Rorty’s controversial approach on the issue. This course was not without its challenges, but I passed without corrections, and with a glowing report from my examiners, and I emerged feeling stronger and having learnt many things which I can implement in the future. I would very much like to expand my research into a PhD. 

Since completing my M.Phil. I have been working for SPIRE as a Sessional Teacher in Philosophy and as an Administrative Assistant. I have loved both of these roles, and would especially like to continue the teaching in the future.

Matthew Davies, MA Diplomatic Studies (2009)

Matthew Davies I read Psychology (single honours) at the University of Chester.  However, perhaps inevitably I came out of it with more questions about life than when I started, and a changed view of the world, and therefore less of a idea about what I wanted to do with my life. That was why I applied for an MA; I wanted a new direction, a new challenge, something completely different to my undergrad course, which had been heavily science based. For whatever reason, diplomacy appealed to me, perhaps in part due to comments made in the past to my skill at handling difficult people with politeness and courtesy.

On reflection, I think I can safely say that this has been the happiest academic year I've had so far. Everything seems to have slotted into place. I have found subjects I enjoy and can really examine. I just feel really fulfilled by the course. Should I find a PhD course which equally captures my imagination I'd be happy to further my academic career, but for the moment I feel that a job in the 'real world' beckons.

I feel the same affinity for Keele. It is an incredibly infectious campus. The ethos seems quite different to other universities I've been to. I think it is that community atmosphere, and I am loath to leave, I really don't think a year is long enough, especially with all the new friends I've made (working at the union bar, and also on my course).

Pollyanna Jones - MRes International Relations 2009

Jones_Pollyanna I embarked on an MRes in International Relations in 2008, after having my passion for European politics ignited through my undergraduate degree (Politics and Philosophy, 2005-2008) at Keele. The focus of my MRes was the production of my dissertation that examined the extent to which the 2009 European Parliament elections fit Reif and Schmitt’s second order national election model. This was aided through studying a variety of modules from comparative European studies, to quantitative research methods and theoretical International Relations modules. With the excellent support of my tutors, I graduated from the course in 2009 with a distinction.

Since completing my masters at Keele I have joined the NHS national graduate scheme. This is one of the top graduate schemes in the country and has consequently offered me a huge range of opportunities to use the skills I gained at Keele to see politics in action and make a real difference to people. Alongside this I still maintain an interest in European politics and what I studied at Keele, and hope that one day in the future I will have the time to return to further continue my studies.


Stephen Leach, PhD Philosophy (2008)

Stephen Leach Stephen Leach, PhD Philosophy (2008)

I studied the philosophy of R.G. Collingwood at Keele under the supervision of Giuseppina D'Oro.  After receiving a PhD in 2008 I  worked as a research assistant to James Tartaglia at Keele and I am  currently working as a research assistant at Hull University. 

In 2010  I became an honorary fellow of Keele University's Research Institute of  Law, Politics, and Justice. Working for a PhD in philosophy at Keele was very hard work but also very intellectually rewarding - just as it should be. I have nothing but praise for Keele's philosophers.

Sarah Palmer, BA (Hons) International Relations & International History (2007) and MA Diplomatic Studies (2008)

Sarah Palmer I graduated from Keele in 2008 with an MA in Diplomatic Studies. Having previously completed a BA in International History and International Relations within SPIRE, the opportunity to further my interest in international diplomacy was fully encouraged, and I went on to compile an MA dissertation on the subject of Anglo-Vatican diplomatic relations. 

The support given to my research in this area is especially memorable, and my experience as a whole within the MA programme was one on which I look back with extremely fond memories.
After graduating, I went on to complete an internship as a research analyst for a London-based think-tank, and to undertake a period of field-based charity work in Kenya. I am currently working as a business analyst for an information management company in Sussex, and I continue to write on the subject of Anglo-Vatican relations in my own time.

Mark Morley, MA in Environmental Politics (1997)

MMorley I have absolutely no doubt that obtaining my MA in International Relations from Keele University proved to be one of the pivotal achievements of my career, providing a body of knowledge which has enabled me to operate with confidence and flexibility in a variety of challenging professional environments.

Graduating in 1997, I have subsequently operated within some demanding and high profile political and diplomatic institutions and locations including the European Parliament, the Vatican, the House of Commons, the Scottish Parliament and now, the Middle East. 

Currently working in the field international financial services, I have every confidence that Keele's Masters programme is highly regarded and brings with it an essential mark of quality and credibility which is recognised the world over.

Mark Morley, 37, Head of Corporate Communications, Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority.