Encountering the World Class, from the “developing world”


The Maldives

Photo credit: Mohamed Shamikh Zubair

Greetings from the Maldives. Yes, you have peers even on this remote archipelago of islands. I welcome you to my experience with the BSc Development and Economics programme. The programme, such as its name sake, has two very distinct personalities. Let’s talk about the development side of things today.

One of the principal concerns I had while deciding to join this programme was about how relatable the course content would be to the “developing world”*. I was concerned that engaging in distance learning would leave me incapable of comprehending ‘the local’. I imagine quite a few of you still sitting on the fence about the programme are anxious about this as well. Continue reading

It’s time for exam prep!


Ok so, the first month in the new year is over… We are now in February.make a plan

I’m not entirely sure whether that’s a good thing. I’m sure that it’s something you can all relate to… as it gets closer to May.

So, with that in mind I thought I’d share a few things that I am trying to do over the next few months. Hopefully, it’ll help you too! Continue reading

Just keep writing (part 2)


my dissertation-related selfie…

My dissertation-related selfie…

With a background in neurosciences, and currently practising as a psychotherapist I have always had a keen interest in how the brain (actually) works, and perhaps more importantly how we might utilise that knowledge to maximise our mental capacity when it comes to approaching the (undoubtedly) challenging University of London LLB (Hons) that many of us are harnessed to.

Continue reading

Being more productive: Transcendental Meditation


I’ve never been a religious nor a spiritual person. This is why I was always sceptical towards things like meditation which is perceived to have a spiritual origin. For somindfulnessme people, meditation leads to inner peace and happiness while others might think of it as a placebo.

When I went to New York City during the Fall semester in 2017 to pursue a business certificate in finance, I took an additional course in organisational behaviour where we learned about the effects of meditation within an organisation. Research shows that it can increase productivity and reduce the risk of burnout. Then, a professional instructor went through a full meditation with us. The technique that was used was different from the one I want to recommend to you, but I still felt peaceful and relaxed in that moment. As any sceptic, I thought it might be a placebo effect since we heard about the research shortly before the meditation. Continue reading

Study groups: We are not alone in this


Studying a distance learning degree can be hard. Family and friends provide a great support system but having someone to discuss with, someone who is in theonline discussions exact situation that you are in, is amazing.

When I first started my BSc Politics and International Relations, I noticed that the University of London suggested that we find that study partner by setting up online study groups. I don’t think I ever realised how valuable that advice was.

In the beginning

In my first year, I started by setting up a Skype group for each module, so that’s 4 in total, and posting the link onto the VLE forums. Then I watched and waited as people started to trickle in. Continue reading

Just keep writing (part 1)


“And it was always said of him, A Christmas Carol animation
that he knew how to keep Christmas well,
if any man alive possessed the knowledge.
May that be truly said of us, and all of us!’’

With Diwali just over, and Christmas poised to loom large, I’m feeling particularly festive. The truth is I have much to be grateful for; my health, two wonderful children, a beautiful partner, and as a psychoanalyst, a job that never ceases to amaze.

But much as Scrooge on that most joyous of Christmas mornings, today you’d find a particular spring in my step, and the reason is simple enough: 10,015 words of completed dissertation. It came at a cost, perhaps not requiring the same kind of existential soul-searching that was asked of poor Ebenezer, but a cost nonetheless. One that, on completion, merits at least one large glass of red and a few oven-warmed mince pies (even if I say so myself). Continue reading

My essay roadbook


So, 3 years into this degree and the thing that still drives me nuts is essay writing. It takes me months to start writing answers that I am halfway happy with. Anyway, I hope this resonates with you all. If it does, keep reading ‘my roadmap to essay writing’, the steps I usually go through to write a Politics/International Relations Essay.

Step number 1: Getting my head around the material.

Before I can even think about an essay, I have to study the material. Usually thiStudys involves going through the Study guide and the Essential Reading. Whether I write the essays as I go along or wait till I finish the syllabus, it depends on the module and how well I understand it. Continue reading

On Cutting The Gordian Knot


Gladiator's the Spaniard

Maximus contemplating a Level 6 Equities and Trust problem question (https://www.imdb.com)

“You should see the Colosseum Spaniard. Fifty-thousand Romans… watching every movement of your sword… willing you to make that killer blow. The silence before you strike and the noise afterwards. It rises. It rises up… like a storm. As if you were the thunder God himself.”

I am not cut from the usual sports fan cloth, to the extent that I don’t religiously follow a football team, give scant attention to the Tennis Masters, and am honestly not sure I could name more than an handful of NBA luminaries; but that is far from true when it comes to Formula 1 where you will see my relative indifference morph into something bordering on fanaticism. From as young as 5 years old, I can remember sitting with my father, and on something roughly amounting to a fortnightly basis, watching my heroes battle it out, lap after seemingly endless heady lap, to their ultimate victory, or at times their less than dignified demise. Continue reading

It’s all about the Plan


I love planning, it makes everything seem right in a highly topsy-turvy world where surprises are always lurking around the corner. concept-1868728_1280.jpg

Here are a couple of things I like to do when I am studying my politics modules. Take a look, I hope that they help you too!

Understanding what’s expected of me

When I started this degree my first step was to sit down and read all those lovely resources that UOL offer, explaining how the degree worked and what was expected of us as students. Understanding this helped me to understand what I had to do and when I had to do it; the Strategies of Success book gives a really nice overview of the different kinds of plans students should make. Continue reading

Politics: Yay or Nay?


I can’t believe that it’s nearing the end of 2018. 2 years ago, I was at the end of my A Levels, trying to decide what to do next.young-791849_1280

I knew I wanted to do something that stretched my brain and allowed me to develop my analytical skills. In the end, it was between a math degree and a politics one. I chose politics and I haven’t regretted it since.

I’ll admit that every year, as that dreaded exam time comes closer and I see the stack of notes that I have to get through, I do wonder why I didn’t take at least one math course. Saying that, I have yet to sit down and have a serious urge to change degrees and do something else with my life. As I enter the third year of my degree, none of this has changed (yet) and here’s why. Continue reading