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Student profiles

Olive Sabiiti

From: Kampala, Uganda
Degree: PhD Law
Graduates: 2013

Why did you choose this degree?

“I was a practising lawyer in my small law firm in Kampala, Uganda. I was also a part-time lecturer of business law at Uganda’s biggest public university, and a part-time associate consultant in commercial law at a major management institute. I wanted to gain in-depth knowledge of investment issues, particularly land-related investment, which could only be attained at doctoral level. The degree would also enhance my credentials and make me more competent as an academic.

“I completed my masters degree in Law at Manchester. I loved the University, the diversity, faculty members and the city; therefore when I had to choose a university for doctoral study, Manchester was my first choice. I was particularly inspired by a professor at the School of Law while I was doing my masters; his influence on my ‘thought life’ motivated my particular research area.”

What do you think of your course?

“I love my course. I have learnt so much in two years, theories and perspectives that I had no clue existed. Staff are friendly, available and accessible, as well as helpful. My supervisors, Professor Frank Stephen and Dr Rilka Dragneva-Lewers, are excellent and very supportive.

“Resources are excellent, particularly the University’s Document Supply Unit, where we can gain access to any academic resource that may not be directly available to the University at a paltry £2. As a doctoral student, it is important that there are academics to talk to and engage with in PhD ‘work in progress’ sessions – and these are all available and well-organised.”

What do you most value about studying here?

“Experiencing diversity, in the range of both study disciplines available and cultures. At Manchester, I have shared the different cultures and lifestyles of people from all over the world, as well as my hosts, the British. This experience daily teaches me to be flexible, accommodating, understanding and to think outside the ‘legal and home-cultural’ box.”

“Studying here will be an added bonus to my curriculum vitae, because a Manchester education is highly valued. I have used the Careers Service, which offers lots of useful information and organises talks that are specifically tailored to student researchers, offering insight on the pathways to academia and industry for doctoral researchers.

“I have been exposed to the best minds, both at university and also at conferences, and have met and interacted with brilliant and talented fellow students from around the world. I definitely think that with my Manchester Doctorate, the world is my oyster.”

Victoria Andrew

Age: 21
From: Manchester, UK
Degree: PhD in Applied Mathematics
Graduates: 2014

Why did you choose this degree?

“I did a BSc in Mathematics at The University of Manchester. I chose to do a PhD in Applied Mathematics because I love to see how maths can be used in the real world. I applied for postgraduate courses at universities other than Manchester, but the reputation that Manchester has as a leader in international research meant that I wanted to continue studying here.”

What do you think of your course?

“Like all postgraduate courses, a PhD in Applied Mathematics is challenging and hard work, but the reward of reaching a solution makes it very much worth it. We have access to a large number of research journals both in the library and online, which is of vital importance.

“The staff are very approachable and always willing to talk about their research and yours. We have a morning coffee break where we can informally discuss problems that we have encountered, or just what we have planned for the weekend!

Do you receive any funding for your course?

“I get funding from the EPSRC, which covers tuition fees and maintenance over a period of three and a half years. I also received a CASE award, which is extra funding from a company who has an interest in my research area. In return, I commit to up to three months working in the company during the course of my PhD.”

What do you most value about studying here?

“There is a big emphasis on being in touch with other researchers, both in my field and away from it. My supervisors make a great effort to provide small seminars for postgraduate students to learn about cutting-edge research in areas that are similar to my own, to give us a broader view of research and increase our understanding.

“Manchester has a great reputation as a research University and good links with industry, which I hope will provide me with knowledge of different careers.”