Masters in Social
and Community Development
BA in Politics
MSSc in Social and Community Development Queens University
My academic background is in the wider field of politics, community development and language education.
I learned the importance and working with vulnerable communities to further understand global development issues and social justice. My Masters in Social and Community Development included concepts in; development in local and international perspectives, management and change in governance and voluntary sector, building ecosystems and partnerships, policy evolution in social and community development, work-based learning from experience. The course focused heavily on turning theory into action and practice.
Being part of the School of Education meant I was able to keep my strong education focus and interest in teaching. During this time, I also took part in several PhD level training aimed at ESL and ESOL PhD Researchers.
Introduction to Community Development
Theory and Practice
This introductory module set the scene for what community development is and what engagement with communities means. Living in Northern Ireland made the importance of building connections and understanding communities from their own perspective a more stark concept to learn.
Understanding how communities impact future generations as well as how to build sustainable cities and communities. This perspective includes but is not limited to the concept of environmental justice (the insection between social justice and equality with environmental issues), happiness and wellbeing. Conducted a community profile using an asset-based method.
Learning in and from the Workplace
As part of this module, I worked with the Ballynafeigh Community Development Centre to help them improve their website and online social media engagement and participation of the local community. I was interested in online spaces and how communities used them to connect and support community-driven initiatives. Download the report below.
Governance and Management of Community Organisations
We learned the processes and practices of governance and management modules for organisations. This included but was not limited to leadership challenges, the construction of boards and project management. In addition, this module included interviewing and grounded practice with organisations through conducting strategic reviews and applying the community development occupational standards to organisational practice. We learned to evaluate organisational practice through impact assessments and monitoring and evaluation techniques. I personally developed a critical-systems thinking approach to organisational strategic review and practice. This includes participation and inclusion of staff and beneficiaries to evaluate programmes and drive forward positive change.
I completed my master’s dissertation titled 'What is the role of linguistic capital in the inclusion or exclusion of refugees and asylum seekers in civil society?'I spent a year and a half with the Horn of Africa's People Aid association to build up knowledge of the refugee communities and work together to create the thesis topic and conduct the research. Download the report below.
BA in Politics, SOAS
My first degree was in the School of Oriental and African Studies (2003 -2009). I originally started by studying Japanese and Politics, before switching to Politics with a focus on the Middle East and African Politics and Politics of Development.
I also took modules on the Theory of Revolutions, International Institutions in Development: the work of the IMF, World Bank and UN, social movements & civic change, Islam and Democracy.