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Megan Canning wins the Toni Kearton Prize for the Best Dissertation

This prize is awarded to student or students who have demonstrated the best performance in their Masters dissertation.

It was established in the name of our former Graduate School administrator, Toni Kearton, who was formerly a Lecturer in the Politics department and then managed the Graduate School during a period of rapid expansion and consolidation from 2010-2014.

The winner of the 2014 Toni Kearton Dissertation Prize is Megan Canning for her dissertation in MSc International Development, entitled ‘A Gender Analysis of Land, Labour and Livelihood in the Malawian Sugar Industry’. This dissertation got the absolutely outstanding mark of 90. Both examiners noted that this was an exceptional piece of work making a major, original contribution to social studies of globalisation and gender by exploring relations of power in the Malawian sugar industry. One marker commented that ‘it is difficult to imagine what more we could hope for MSc students on our International Development programmes to produce given the time and resources at their disposal.’ The other marker remarked that the ‘result is an exemplary dissertation that shows a confident grasp of both the literature and the methods employed in fieldwork’. One examiner summarised the work saying ‘As far as I’m concerned, the author aced it’. Such is the quality of the dissertation that the markers have encouraged Megan to consider finessing the work for publication and to present it to relevant consultancy/policy audiences. There is not much more we could ask for from a dissertation.


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