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Why I chose the GSD MASc - Ilaria's Story

On our flexible GSD MASc course, you will combine academic learning with practical action and applied thinking to tackle problems of global sustainable development. We caught up with GSD MASc student Ilaria to discuss her experiences of postgraduate study and why she would recommend the GSD MASc programme to others.

Before postgraduate study

For my undergraduate degree I studied GSD with Economics at Warwick University. I had decided to pursue a joint honours as, although I was eager to study economics for its career prospects, I didn’t want to solely focus on a single subject for three years!

I picked GSD on a whim as I was interested in issues surrounding sustainability and thought it would offer balance to the rigid structure of my economics degree. However, I quickly realised during my undergraduate studies that I enjoyed the GSD course content much more than my economics, which is why I decided to pursue it further at postgraduate level!

My experiences of the course so far

The GSD MASc course presents a lot of opportunities to engage in group work, which I really enjoy as the diversity of the student cohort means we are exposed to a wide variety of perspectives and academic knowledge. I particularly liked the Global Challenges and Transdisciplinary Responses module, where assessments included creating a Netflix-style documentary trailer to present issues on sustainability.

I have always had overwhelmingly positive experiences with the GSD team. Whether it be the teaching faculty or administrative staff, everyone is very approachable, knowledgeable and willing to help if you are struggling with something.

Skills and knowledge I have gained

The course has enhanced my presentation skills and improved my grasp of different communicative styles. The Quantitative Approaches to Sustainable Development module was valuable for developing my data and advanced statistical analysis skills for conducting research.

I have also gained a lot of knowledge not just about sustainable issues and technologies, but the limits in solving sustainable issues. Rather than just advocating for sustainability, the GSD course at Warwick makes you look at proposed “sustainable solutions” - whether it be for transport, housing or corporate practice - and critically evaluate them so that you understand the social, economic and environmental implications for each model and realise that there is no simple, quick fix for solving these problems.

My next steps

I am currently underway with my Capstone project and have already applied to the GSD PhD programme. I am conducting a research project that focuses on the integration of Italians in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and whether learning German has helped these Italians integrate easier into the society.

There is a sociolinguistics hypothesis that claims that first and second-generation immigrants struggle to integrate into new surroundings, however by the time it gets to the third generation this challenge disappears. My study plans to challenge this theory as it has already been widely criticised by many scholars in the academic community.

Learn more about Warwick International Intensive Study Programme (WIISP) here.

Learn more about Warwick Innovation Fund (also students can apply!) here.