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Our students

We're proud of our students who take their learning beyond their degree and of our graduates who go on to do great things. From helping the local community by working on schemes to improve financial literacy among school students, to working for the World Health Organisation helping to tackle the Ebola Crisis.

Future World Leaders

A degree in a social science subject has never been more relevant than today. People who study a social science subject want to understand how individuals are shaped by, and in turn shapes society. The skills and knowledge gained through a social science degree have always been relevant for leaders, social innovators, and for responsible global citizens.

We believe that our students are one of the most important positive resources for today’s society and we have learned to expect them to be leaders and achievers. Our students, who collectively speak 201 different languages bring a vast and diverse set of experiences to the classroom. Our approach to learning and teaching builds from this prior knowledge and experiences. We complement and expand our students’ strengths with classroom learning, work placements, field trips and international projects.

We feel privileged to be helping to develop strong, creative, energetic members of society who can make a real difference to the world.

Global Studies

    Zeyna Fall, BA (Hons) International Development and NGO Management Graduate

    “Having grown up in a developing country I knew I wanted to do something to improve the quality of other people’s lives. Studying international development seemed like a great way to gain the skills and knowledge to be able to do this. The course was recommended to me by a friend who knew about my lifelong goal to work for the United Nations. 

    UEL was the perfect choice for me.  The location was perfect as my daughter was a baby when I decided to undertake my further education. The assistance and support of the academic staff was constant throughout my student life. I have nothing but appreciation for all my lecturers for all the attention, guidance, advice and unfaltering support they have given to me throughout my studies.  

    As well as the lectures and seminars delivered by UEL’s expert academics, we had inspirational talks from guest speakers including former students such as Firoz Patel who after graduating has gone on to set up his own charity and gave us all invaluable advice and insight into life after graduating. 

    The key part of the International Development with NGO management course is the compulsory placement module. I did a four month internship at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in Senegal during my second year. This allowed me to gain practical experience within an international development agency and I developed transferrable skills such as planning, organisation, interpersonal and translation. The experience of working within an international development work setting has broadened my prospects for my future and I really feel I will be more attractive for potential employers.

    I have now completed my degree achieving first class honours, this is my greatest achievement. I’m now looking forward to enrolling onto a Master’s program and hope to find my dream job within the UN.”

    Zeyna Fall

    Eleanor McGill, BA (Hons) International Development with Anthropology Graduate

    “During my three years at UEL I was presented with a host of opportunities to get involved in to not only broaden my academic experience but also gain practical experience.

    Eleanor McGill graduated from UEL in International Development with Anthropology in 2014. Studying at UEL gave her many opportunities to take her learning outside the classroom, including three study trips to Uganda with the help of the Going Global fund. An engaged and highly motivated student, Eleanor seized the opportunities UEL offered, including Shark Stopping, a campaign which aimed to raise awareness of predatory money lenders amongst students to prevent them from being exploited. 

    Eleanor was also able to become a Money Mentor and get paid by UEL to deliver financial literacy classes to local sixth form students, giving her the chance to further work towards combating financial exploitation by encouraging young people to be more aware of money issues. 

    “Through studying at UEL I got more than a degree. It opened up the many opportunities for me in both the UK and abroad. These opportunities not only helped me enhance my CV but also helped me learn what I was passionate about and led me into the job I am in now. If I had the choice again I would choose UEL because of the invaluable experiences it gave me.”

    Eleanor McGill

    Clare Lofthouse, BA (Hons) International Development Graduate

    It is one of UEL’s proud claims that our graduates help to change our world. Clare Lofthouse is doing exactly that in her role as a consultant for the World Health Organisation. Having graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in International Development in 2011, Clare is currently involved in finding out how reproductive health is being impacted by the Ebola crisis which started in March 2014.

    “We are looking into how to restore reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services. Not only that, but also how to improve knowledge and care of how pregnancy is affected by Ebola infection in order to improve the management of maternal and neonatal health, as well as to curb transmission. We want to get down to Case Zero. Hopefully I will be out in the field to follow up on our protocols soon."

    Clare’s first role at the World Health Organisation was an intern in the department looking into sexual and reproductive health, with a particular emphasis on emergencies in maternal health. She views her International Development course at UEL as an essential building block to her current position. She appreciated the flexibility the course offered to study subjects outside the core modules. "For example, I took a class on HIV and the psychosocial impact of HIV on those living with the virus, and on the people around them."

    "One of the best parts of the course which has always helped me professionally was when I spent my final semester abroad in Egypt in 2011 at the American University in Cairo. This experience led me onto to become interested in the humanitarian sector and taking my Master's on this topic." 

    My time at UEL helped me set a foundation for what I was going to do next. I tried so hard and I had some great teachers who were very encouraging. With their advice and encouragement I pushed myself to get on several external programmes ranging from a model United Nations in the Netherlands to a study abroad programme in China.

    One of the things I liked most about UEL was the diversity in class. Everyone was from everywhere, which brought great stories and experience to the classroom. 

    I found that I was one of the younger students even though I had had a year out. A lot of people had come out of employment or were working part-time in order to take the course, so they took it seriously."

    Clare Lofthouse

    Indira Kartallozi, MA Refugee Studies Graduate

    Indira graduated with an MA in Refugee Studies and is now Director of Chrysalis Family Futures, as well as Migrant Entrepreneurs Network. 

     “As a refugee myself, since 1992, I have devoted my time to working with refugees and migrants. This program was not only a journey of self-discovery that helped me to reconnect with my identity, but it also opened new horizons for me. After completion, my self-belief grew, my knowledge was greater and I was able to apply what I had learned to new work opportunities. Since completing my studies, I have set up Chrysalis Family Futures, through which I continue to support the most vulnerable of our society, and Migrant Entrepreneurs Network, a global platform for migrant entrepreneurs through which I aim to promote migrants’ positive societal and economic contribution. Reflecting back on my studies, I particularly appreciated the diversity of the UEL and all the support that I was provided throughout.” 

    Indira Kartallozt

    Jane Greenstock, MA Refugee Studies Graduate

    Jane Greenstock, gained MA in Refugee Studies and is currently Research Analyst at the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). 

    "I studied the MA Refugee Studies course part-time over two years. I found it to be an immensely interesting, well-taught and worthwhile course. The knowledge I gained, through access to some excellent teachers and the Refugee Archive collection was exactly what I hoped to get out of the course, which concerns issues that are globally important. I appreciated the fact that the modules were all taught from a refugee-centric point of view and enabled students to understand research methods from different perspectives. It enabled me to secure a research position with an organisation who valued the understanding and experience I gained from the course of researching and working with people who can need support to engage with, and get the best support from, social care services. I have also gone on to provide research consultancy support to a Heritage Lottery funded project looking at Polish migration to Waltham Forest. I was very happy to be able to bring a group of volunteers to the Refugee Archive at UEL, which provided a very useful resource."

    Jane Greenstock

    Psychosocial Studies

      Sahid Bendu, BA (Hons) Psychosocial Studies with Professional Practice Student 

      I’m chose to come to university as I wanted to make my family proud and to excel in an area which I felt I was good at. I chose to study Psychosocial Studies to gain further knowledge which will enable me to help others in the future.

      UEL offered degrees with reasonable UCAS points to acquire, a suitable location in London to travel to. My first impressions were very good and the calibre of staff, facilities and resources stood out to me.

      UEL is a great place to study. The UEL bursary card has been really useful for getting resources at the John Smiths bookshop. I enjoy the fact that the course widens my views on different cultures and societies as well as individuals and their circumstances. I feel 100% supported by all the academic staff. 

      I have had the chance to be part of the peer mentoring group at UEL. This has given me experience in the role of a mentor and the opportunity to further develop as a mentor. I’m hoping to become a learning mentor when I graduate. 

      Sahid Bendu

      Kenneth Atigah, BA (Hons) Psychosocial Studies with Professional Practice Student 

      “After the 2008 global financial meltdown, the construction company I was working for lost most of its contracts and I began working part-time which had a dramatic impact on my young family. Although, things eventually got better, my partner and I decided that I should get a career for the security of the family. Six years prior I was a core-carer for my autistic cousin, an experience I found emotionally rewarding and highly motivating, hence I have enrolled on Health and Social Care course at Lewisham College. This in a nutshell was the beginning of journey.

      I was initially unsuccessful in my application to the UEL Social Work degree course and was offered a place on Psychosocial Studies. I had an interview with Dr Heather Price which was riveting, her explanations of the course and what it entails and also the career opportunities were fascinating.

      I received a generous bursary which helped me with books, computer and travel throughout the three years.

      The opportunity to apply theory to real life situations and develop within yourself an in-depth understanding of humanity and human relations. I came to UEL with a channel vision look on life, but I am now leaving with a greater understanding of humanity, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality, age, religion or sex. One thing the course has taught me was, we are humans before any of the aforementioned social categories.

      I am currently on placement with Family Action as a family support worker, thanks to the Psychosocial Studies with Professional Practice programme. I've had the opportunity to work alongside experienced social workers and gained valuable insight in to the profession. It has really helped to strengthen my application to study for a Master's level social work course”.

      Kenneth Atigah

      Adeola Aminu, BA (Hons) Psychosocial Studies with Professional Practice Graduate

      Adeola recently graduated form the BA (Hons) Psychsocial Studies with Professional Practice course. Having gained substantial work experience from the compulsory work practice element of this course, Adeola is now working towards her dream of becoming a Social Worker.

      "My one year placement as an Advice Worker with Community Links in Stratford has improved my communication, observational and reflexive skills and helped me secure a place on the qualifying Master's in Social Work, straight after graduating."

      Adeola Aminu

      Sociology & Social Policy

        Zenani Sibindi, BA (Hons) Sociology with Criminology Student

        When Zenani narrowly missed out on her A-Level grades she no longer thought university was an option. It was then that she was told about UEL’s unique position as the only university in the country to offer degree foundation courses in the social sciences.

        "It was really encouraging to me when I found out there was a way to get into university. But also, the foundation course prepares and develops you for when you fully start your degree.

        I had a real interest and passion for criminal behaviour and finding out what actually causes it. What stands out to me are all of the different theories about what may cause people to commit crime. There are lots of different ways you can look at it rather than just say somebody is a criminal because they are a bad person.

        Doing the course has broadened my knowledge of all those angles as well as the different types of crimes that exist. I didn’t know what I wanted to do career-wise when I started the course but now I’m narrowing it down to careers in probation.

        The tutors are all very approachable. You can talk to them about things you are struggling with and they are very happy to help you.  I was also assigned to a tutor who I can to talk about coursework or any issues I have been going through. It’s an atmosphere of encouragement. I've always felt like UEL really cares about you. They don’t make you feel that you are singled out because you are the ones who didn’t get the grades or couldn’t get in for whatever reason. They treat you and support you as a student just like any other student here.

        And I like the diversity here. It’s a really diverse university. It’s exciting because there are loads of different cultures, different backgrounds, different walks of life, but everyone is a part of UEL. You really get a sense of that when you come in here. No-one is afraid to be themselves or express what they believe or what they have grown up knowing.”

        Zenani Sibindi

        Anthony Pierre, BA (Hons) Sociology 2014

        Anthony Pierre, a Sociology BA (Hons) graduate in 2014, began his undergraduate journey on the Sociology foundation course that UEL offers uniquely among universities in the UK. He now works as an Employer Services Consultant for Working Links. His job is focused on the National Offenders Management Service (NOMS) contract which helps people with convictions, resettling them into the community and improving their employment prospects. He puts the knowledge and skills acquired at UEL to use on a daily basis.

        “I'm constantly analysing individuals and applying concepts to understand their backgrounds and mentalities,” says Anthony. “We use various methods to motivate and break the repetition of negative habits.

        “The UEL lecturers are dedicated. They want to see their students’ progress and develop academically but also as human beings. That is what I experienced in the School of Social Sciences and I enjoyed every moment.”

        Anthony Pierre

        Marie McDonald, BSc (Hons) Sociology (Professional Development) Graduate 

        "I was working within public sector. Due to a restructure of my department I was and made redundant after 25 years service. This caused me to undertake temporary jobs until I decided to go into higher education.

        Leading up to my redundancy I was completing a diploma in counselling and initially thought that this could be my next career path. However it soon became apparent to me that I could not do counselling as a full time job. I have always wanted to study a degree but due to life commitments it did not seem possible. My redundancy was the kick-start into studying a degree.

         Initially I wanted to study social work, but when I reviewed the prospectus for the BSc Sociology (Professional Development) I felt that I would have a wider scope of career choice, in research, policy decision or project management. Also I believed that the work life experience that I had would best suit this degree.
        My first impressions were daunting, because as a mature student I had been out of education for a long time and felt overwhelmed.  However what put my mind at ease was the fact that there was a mixture of young and mature students, plus I fell in love with the layout of the campus, the colorful buildings and being near to city airport. I also receive a bursary, which has been extremely helpful for purchasing of books, travel etc.

        I really love the fact that at UEL there is a wide choice of subjects that cover social aspects of life and the positive interaction with the lecturers. I also enjoy the mixture of age groups and ethnicity.

        100% without the support from the academic staff I do not think I would have come this far. The relationship has been amazing and I have always received supportive and encouraging comments.  As a mature student this support has really boosted my confidence and made me feel that I can achieve my goals. UEL has helped me mainly by creating an atmosphere where the staff members are willing to nurture students and go that extra mile to help. The university feels more like a community whereby you’re never felt that you are on your own. I strongly believe that the support from the academics has shown me that I could get a first class degree".

        Marie McDonald

        Rabita Musarrat, BA (Hons) Sociology Graduate 

        "With the intention to explore and develop my latent talent I started my BA in sociology at University of East London (UEL). The University provided me with wide range of opportunities with its great infrastructure and amenities to fulfill my goals.

        With the very well designed course, UEL also has a very resourceful library, with the help from faculty members, the lecturers, made my time at UEL very effective.  Among the many services that UEL provides for its students, they offer free English language support, academic writing support and accommodation, all at economical cost. My supervisor at UEL, Sydney Jeffers had been very supportive throughout my time there, and after achieving my degree at UEL I took my next step as a student and completed my MSc degree in the same field at University College London (UCL). With my enriched knowledge from my degrees I have now started my further research (PhD) at the University of York.

        As magnificent university as it is I wish University of East London all the success in days ahead."

        Rabita Musarrat