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Personal Statement for Human Rights and International Politics masters


ionacampbell 1 / 1 2  
Jan 29, 2020   #1
Would greatly appreciate help with my personal statement for Human Rights and International Politics. I think it is too long and needs to become more succinct in order to convey my points clearly :) There is no word limit... Any other tips will be welcomed gladly! This is a first draft, there are likely to be still typos as I find proof reading my own work particularly difficult

PS: Human Rights and International Politics



There is nothing more crucial in society than human rights and awareness of these rights. Human rights drive the everyday order of society, suppress anarchy and provide room for equality. They hold people accountable for their actions and allow those most vulnerable in our society to have a voice. Now, more than ever, we live in a world where there is so much opportunity for achieving for a better, fairer world, yet for each opportunity there is an obstacle standing in its way. It is my intention to strengthen my role in this fight for equality and peace enrol through this course in Glasgow, a city of progression.

My passion for this field was established at university when studying English Literature. I found that what interested me most was how injustices and inequalities were portrayed in literature. My essays deconstructed the societal structures depicted and examined ways in which a fairer society could be reconstructed. My dissertation itself investigated the marginalisation of Black women in western society due to White beauty norms and how this was portrayed in African-American Literature. This analytical project not only opened my eyes to a sphere outside my own experience, but also developed my understanding of the research methods necessary for academic writing prominent in postgraduate study. Alongside my degree I was heavily involved in two charity committees; Glasgow University Charity Fashion Show (GUCFS) and Glasgow University Macmillan Society. In the role of Marketing Director for GUCFS I headed a team of ten people, the largest team within the committee. This gave me the opportunity to hone my leadership skills which I believe to be necessary in the heated environments surrounding human rights. My proudest committee achievement is leading the GUCFS Diversity and Identity Campaign which celebrated diversity across Glasgow. This saw many people from all walks of life coming together for a photoshoot and interviews which focused what diversity and identity meant to them, as an individual. Most importantly, however, these committee roles brought home the struggles faced by those in my community alongside the incredible work done to combat these issues. The Period Poverty and Nightstop campaigns run by Simon Community Scotland are two I find particularly inspiring. These community-based projects connect the public with those most vulnerable in their locality. The fact that this course has strong links with a local community which is so close to my heart makes it all the more appealing to me.

Having decided upon this masters degree in my final year at university, I thought it important to mature and gain a more developed view of global issues before beginning such a challenging course. I decided to take a year away from study to allow for this. It was important to me that this year be productive and focused, thus I decided to study towards a TEFL certification and teach in Latin America. This would allow me to work on my Spanish, an official language of the United Nations, and experience a culture outside of the western sphere; with the added bonus of meeting hard working individuals everyday who show real concern for their own learning. The role has been incredibly beneficial in strengthening my knowledge of the English language, in turn, improving my articulation when speaking and writing. I also understand, now more than ever, the ways in which language can be analysed for nuance and intricacies of meaning. Careful use of language can mark difference between escalation or de-escalation of conflict, for example, and is important for creating positive ties between individuals and nations.

I have been living in Costa Rica for 5 months now and very much enjoying every moment. That is not to say there are not difficult days, but these, along with the good, push me towards becoming a more empathetic, patience and brave person; for this I am truly thankful. As their teacher my students confide in me; this level of trust is imperative in any human rights profession. The communication skills I have gained here also allow me to converse with ease and confidence in many different situations, making me a good candidate for Human Rights and International Politics. I have learnt the value in listening before speaking; the skill of strengthening one's sense of self-awareness, I believe, is crucial in any walk of life.

In the interest of strengthening my awareness further and finding out more about achieving equality I will be taking part in a Human Rights Project this May with an NGO based in Guatemala. This project will focus on a range of human rights violations caused by poverty, war and patriarchal power structures. It will also focus on the laws which both combat and hinder these issues. I aim to find out more about the people who live there on a personal level; learning about how human rights laws affect their lives and bring what I have learnt forward into my studies come September.

What drew me to this course specifically its flexibility in offering two courses of the learners choice. One optional course I am particularly interested in is "Environmental Policies and Problems in China." It was important to me that I chose a human rights orientated courses which incorporated elements of sustainable development and reevaluation, both politically and socially. I believe China, as a case study, is a perfect example of a country going through its industrial and technological revolutions in a time where climate change threatens not only their development, but also life as we all know it. I find the ethics surrounding this subject compelling as we question whether it is just for the developed world to restrict the developing. In line with the United Nations' sustainable development goals of promoting prosperity whilst protecting the planet, I believe that striving for a sustainable approach to life can also unify human beings in the fight for equality; if we respect our planet, we should and will respect each other.

My proposed dissertation topic (see proposal) will focus on the link between scarcity and conflict and how climate change further fuels this dynamic. In March, I will be undertaking an online course titled "Environmental Challenges: Scarcity and Conflict in the Natural Environment" with the University of Leeds which focuses on both how climate change leads to conflict over lack of resources and how conflict leads to neglect and in many cases active destroyal of the natural world. This will give me a deeper understanding of my proposed topic and the field I would like to go into after this course. As a side project, I have been working on a blog about sustainable living. On this blog, I focus on how we can alter our lives to make a difference to the environmental crisis we face. The project has required a great deal of self motivation, a skill necessary for postgraduate academic study, and has opened my eyes to a world in which sustainability and equality can thrive through reevaluation of capitalist ideals. In preparation for the legal aspects of the course I am currently undertaking an online course with the University of Louvain named "International Human Rights Law" so that I can familiarise myself with protection and restriction of rights by law. I am aware that my undergraduate degree does not possess a direct path into Human Rights and International Politics, but I have made it my aim to sufficiently equip myself for this area of study, demonstrating my desire to succeed in both acceptance onto the course and achieving excellence once I am enrolled.

I believe that Human Rights and International Politics will enable me to establish a firmer understanding of law, politics and societal pressures surrounding human rights which, along with my passion for the subject, will create a developed capability in the field. Upon completion of this course I am to begin employment with an NGO which focuses on placing human rights at the centre of the climate debate. Overall, this program is a good fit for me, and I for it, because I am driven with a clear idea of my future in mind. I possess the necessary skills in communication, leadership and research methods needed to thrive on this course and will continue to work on these in the lead up to and throughout the course.

Holt [Contributor] - / 7,892 2170  
Jan 29, 2020   #2
The development and your experience regarding human rights and its violations are not solid enough in this presentation to convince the reviewer that you actually have a clear foundation for your interests and that your practical experience has really helped create a personal educational standard that could have led to your desire to study this masters course. The justification should be coming mostly from your volunteer activities that place you in the center of the discussion and experience. So far, your experiences have been in controlled environments that offer you a shallow, rather than insightful, experience regarding human rights and its relevance to international politics.

Though there is no word limit indicated, you should follow the rule that no essay for an application process should be more than 500 words long. Try to create more focus for your personal statement. What personal experiences in relation to human rights might have you experienced? What activities did you have that indicated the importance of human rights in international politics? These are all excellent academic bases for your application, but for a masters course, the practical also needs to be focused on. Prior to the project in May, what other relevant experiences have you been directly involved in? As a teacher, how does the course come into play? Have you helped any students overcome human rights violations of any sort? Have you had to overcome these personally? Go deeper into the discussion, forget the basics, which is what your essay portrays more of. The basics are okay for the draft, but not for submission. Narrow down your discussion to the only relevant topic, which is your experience with human rights and its politics, as it affects you at the moment.


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