School of Global Studies

Postgraduate dissertation with placement

The School of Global studies offers postgraduate students the opportunity of doing a dissertation with placement. It is an exciting way to develop and undertake research skills which directly feed into your dissertation. It’s a great way to get experience in a field in which you may want to pursue your career after you finish your course.

The School of Global Studies offers postgraduate students an opportunity to undertake a Dissertation with placement. Students find a placement by working at an organisation and alongside their time at the placement they are able to collect primary data for their dissertation. Examples of primary research might include collecting data, interviews, surveys using questionnaires or even looking at archival material.

Placements give students the opportunity to gain skills specific to their subject or industry of choice as well as developing employability skills required for real-life work. It also increases their knowledge of an industry or sector, allowing them to make more informed decisions about future career choices. At global studies we are able to offer you the opportunity to work and research in an industry of your choice and which will allow you to make those career choices.

The dissertation period is between June – August. We ask for a minimum of 6 weeks at the placement organisation and you can be there longer but must bear in mind the submission date for the dissertation.

For more information, contact Su Richards,

Student experiences

José Antonio Medina Reynoso: BRAC, Bangladesh 

Living for two months in Bangladesh has been one of the most exciting experiences I have had in my professional life, all thanks to The Andrew Pickup Award bursary. My placement with BRAC in Bangladesh, made the experience even more exciting. BRAC is regarded as one of the most iconic NGOs in Bangladesh and has been working on diverse initiatives with the mission of both alleviating extreme poverty and empowering women. Thus, I was able to work shoulder to shoulder with highly motivated staff members who I not only admired for their intelligence and commitment, but for their determination to work every day with a clear intention to make their country more just. Nonetheless, a lot of the critique that we as MA students were exposed to when analysing the NGO sector, allowed me to also see their work in a critical way. Within such a context, my dissertation topic started being shaped, from a feminist analysis of women’s empowerment to understanding how is it that NGOs fail to utilise such feminist frameworks in their policy design.

Read José's report

Nia Ivanova, Work Rights Centre (WoRC), London 

My research project explored the lived experiences of Bulgarian migrants who face multiple and interrelated forms of precarity. The Andrew Pickup Award bursary allowed me to give £20 compensation as a thank you gift to each participant who took part in my research project. There are two main reasons why this bursary made a difference for my ability to undertake the Research Placement:

Interviews included highly vulnerable migrants in precarious working conditions. In this context, any cost such as time and effort they incur has a disproportionately higher value. My privilege as a University of Sussex postgraduate places me in a different position to them, despite being a native Bulgarian. The compensation accounted for this power imbalance. This strengthened the ethical underpinnings of the research. The bursary allowed me to cover my cost of travelling for the two drop-in sessions in London.

Read Nia's report

Ryann Stutz: Rotaro, London

In summer 2022, with the financial security of the Andrew Pickup Award, I was able to conduct research on the sustainability efforts in luxury fashion rental in the United Kingdom. This was supplemented with an internship at Rotaro, a rising star in the sustainable luxury industry in London. While I was collecting data, I got my hand in virtually anything possible to experience the fullness of the textile and apparel landscape: assisting photo shoots, running spreadsheets to track products, interviewing new designer partners, and writing for the business’ blog.

Read Ryann's report

Leah Hawes: Asociación ANDES, Peru  

The Andrew Pickup Award allowed me to complete a placement in Peru with the organization Asociación ANDES, based in Cusco. This placement shaped not just my research, but the theme of my dissertation overall, which examined how Quechua communities are preserving crop biodiversity through non competitive markets, and the resulting impacts on food systems. The money that I was awarded went into funding my plane ticket and lodging during the two and a half months that I spent in Cusco, crucial aspects to my research as they allowed me the access to fly to Cusco to complete my placement in person. This was an incredibly enriching and rewarding experience. I was able to visit the Parque de la Papa in person, attending important events such as the Dia de la Papa (Day of the Potato, May 30th) when the communities that make up the Parque celebrate the potato and its role in their communities. I was also able to see first-hand how these communities value the potato and how these relationships shape cultural ideas and practices around food, something that was crucial to my research.

Read Leah's report

Phoebe Marsh: Prostitution Information Centre, Amsterdam 

My placement was centred in the heart of Amsterdam, within an organisation that aims to address and challenge the stigma society holds against sex workers in the Netherlands. As part of a collaborative agreement between myself and the PIC, we agreed I would archive their collection of sex worker relevant materials, in exchange for interviews, and the ability to engage with participant observation with staff members. The data collected would be used in my Master's dissertation, which was analysing the impacts that the closure and relocation of the red-light district would have on sex workers in De Wallen. This experience has come to life thanks to the Turing Award.

Read Phoebe's report 

Eleanor Lea, Conservation NGO A Rocha Ghana, Accra 

I would like to thank the Turing Fund for funding my dissertation research and work placement. At the beginning of June 2022, I travelled to Ghana to undertake fieldwork for my dissertation and volunteer for the conservation NGO A Rocha Ghana. A Rocha Ghana runs multiple initiatives promoting sustainable livelihoods, landscape restoration, biodiversity protection, climate change resilience, and forest protection and management. I worked part-time in their head office in Accra, and among other things, was tasked with researching the negative impacts of mining for renewable energy materials in Africa, and collecting data on the numbers of deaths related to galamsey (illegal mining) in Ghana.

Read Eleanor's report

Iris Ratzenberger, Austrian Development Agency, Uganda 

During my MSc in Climate Change, Development and Policy, I had the possibility to do a research placement at the coordination office of the Austrian Development Agency in Kampala, Uganda. This placement allowed me to gain insights into the work of a bilateral development agency and the development work in Uganda in general. I mainly helped to write a semi-annual report. I also had the chance to participate in several events, such as an event of the FAO for malnutrition and starvation in Karamoja or the presentation of the semi-annual report of the Ministry of Water and Environment in Uganda. These unique experiences will definitely help me in my future working life.

Without the generous support of the Turing Scheme, I could not have done this research placement. The Turing Scheme scholarship helped me cover all my costs in Uganda and made this placement possible.

Read Iris' report