Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Alanna Malik

Alanna Malik
Alanna Malik
United States
MSc in African Studies
Doing Now
Working as a researcher in Nairobi, Kenya for an educational media company.

What were you doing before you came to Edinburgh to study?

I just finished a Master's of Public Affairs and Policy programme in the United States before coming to Edinburgh.

What motivated you to apply for an MSc by Research at Edinburgh?

In my second year of the Public Affairs programme I didn't feel satisfied with my learning -- I wanted to do more; namely to compliment my policy analysis skills with research and knowledge of Africa. I also wanted to do this at a world renowned University, in a short period of time and in a foreign country. Edinburgh was the best and most appropriate choice for me.

What was the academic community of CAS like?

The academic community of CAS is built around the lecturers, visiting staff, and students. It was clear from every class I took that the lecturers really cared about and were interested in the course topic. Their enthusiasm and knowledge encouraged me to become a better and more critical learner. The weekly CAS speaker seminars were also interesting as they provide a way for students to broaden their knowledge and engage in topics not necessarily covered in class.

You've finished your coursework and dissertation. What are you up to now?

I'm currently living and working in Nairobi, Kenya, as a researcher for an educational media company. I produce background research and survey questionnaires for two of the company's popular TV shows.

I am also author of the blog, in an effort to stay engaged with politics and policy analysis now that I am no longer at University.

Any additional advice for incoming students?

If you remember, try and save your syllabi. It is so useful to have when applying for jobs, future degrees, or even as academic reference. I can't tell you how many times I have looked back at my syllabi from undergrad to recall key authors and readings on a particular topic!