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IPS Student Testimonials


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Amy Keegan (2014/15)
Policy Officer for Monitoring and Accountability, WaterAid UK

I studied the MPhil in International Peace Studies from 2014-2015. During my masters I completed a peace building internship with the early childhood development team in the division of policy and practice at UNICEF's headquarters in New York as part of the ISE internship program. Throughout the internship I was given a lot of responsibility, getting the chance to travel, attend conferences, and take point on a variety of fascinating projects. This opportunity helped me develop my skills, explore a new area of study and build on my academic understanding of international issues gained at ISE.

After finishing my Masters I moved to Madagascar for a year where I worked for regional NGO Azafady as a Project Development Officer in WASH and Sustainable Livelihoods. Having just returned, I've recently taken up a new post working for WaterAid UK as a Policy Officer for Monitoring and Accountability. The strong academic grounding I received in international affairs and peace building at ISE has greatly benefited my career since.

Heidi Riley (2013)


Undertaking the MPhil in International Peace Studies at ISE opened the door to the opportunity of continuing in academia to PhD level. Through the knowledge and experience I gained during my MPhil I was granted the fantastic opportunity of a scholarship which has enabled me embark on the path towards a Doctorate degree in area of gender and international relations.

In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed my internship at Front Line Defenders, arranged by International Peace Studies, during my MPhil. Front Line is a fantastic organization that does vital work for the security and protection of Human Rights Defenders. Apart from this it is a very welcoming office with brilliant staff. I have particularly enjoyed it because I was not treated just as an intern but as a member of staff. All the projects I have worked on while being there have been been very interesting and I was never expected to carryout menial tasks often associated with internships.

Augostine Edan Ekeno (2012)

The MPhil program in International Peace Studies offered me the opportunity to understand, examine and reflect deeply issues behind the lack of order in the world. The broad expertise of ISE lecturers, the excellent academic program coupled with the diverse experiences brought in by students from all over the world molds global citizens charged with a desire to set the world on a fire-of-peace. It is such fire that has guided me through in my current work of peace-building in Kenya, particularly now that the country is marching towards the March 2012 general election. Using the wisdom brewed in ISE, I hope to join other peacemakers to prevent a repeat of the post-election violence that rocked Kenya in 2007/2008 that claimed over 1300 lives and left hundreds of thousands displaced in various parts of the country.

Paul Musiol, Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Middle East Unit (2011)

I took the M.Phil in International Peace Studies in 2010-2011, looking to better understand the issues and factors involved in peace and conflict and in international and inter-communal relations. The classes are balanced and really reinforce each other, with a good mix of the conceptual and the practical, supplemented by excellent guest speakers and field trips. What I particularly liked was that the course gave me a significant amount of freedom to determine what I wanted to focus on and what methods to use. Lectures and seminars were stimulating, friendly and informal and would send me away eager to discover more, whether that was in the library or by having a chat with the other students. The coursework was engaging and challenging and the mix of backgrounds and perspectives among the students was invigorating. We learned how to approach and understand complex issues such as conflict dynamics, international institutions, and the links between peace, development and human rights.

With the help of the ISE, I undertook an internship in a non-governmental organisation working in multilateral disarmament in Geneva while I was writing my dissertation. This was an almost immeasurably worthwhile experience, and one which I wouldn't have had a chance to do were it not for this course. That internship led me on to more NGO work in Geneva and eventually to my current role, in the Middle East Unit of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In all my professional roles so far, the grounding I gained from this course has been a huge help, and I'd strongly recommend it for anyone who wants to better understand and engage with some of the most critical issues in the world today.

Prerna Humpal, Amnesty International (2009)

Having completed an internship with Amnesty International Ireland, I will soon start work on an Amnesty International campaign to end female genital mutilation in Europe. The course has given me a strong foundation in international politics, human rights and development framed within the discourse of peace studies. Having written a paper on culture of human rights, I now try to implement it by applying a human rights based approach in my work. Furthermore, the mediation summer school provided me with a basic practical guide to coping with conflict which I use in my personal and professional life.

Timothy Roschke, Private Security Contracting, Liberia (2008)

I have been working for a private security contracting company supported by the US State Department. I have spent two years now in Liberia, recruiting, vetting the new Armed Forces of Liberia. My department tests the applicants' credibility, criminal history, professional history and background with respect to human rights violations. I have also been teaching the civics portion of the training curriculum - which includes human rights, laws of armed conflict, Liberian civics, rule of law, peace-building and mediation ... my own personal fascination with peace-building, peacekeeping and laws of armed conflict - which was nurtured in MPhil in International Peace Studies has made an insightful contribution.

Eimear Friel (2007), Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland


I did the M. Phil in International Peace Studies in 2006-2007. I chose it because I had been working as a practitioner in the area of conflict resolution skills development for young people and I wanted to study the more theoretical aspects. I liked that the focus of the course was on peace rather than war or conflict and I felt that the course had a more constructive and positive approach than perhaps other courses would have. The course provided a good mixture of structure and flexibility and the choice of modules within meant that there was a lot of opportunity to explore new areas and to deepen understanding of issues.

On completing the M. Phil., I took up employment with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs as a diplomat. I’ve had several different positions in my time with the Department, including two outside of Ireland. In each position I have found that there has been something from the M.Phil. that was relevant to what I was doing, even on the most unexpected occasions. I can also see that, from having done the M. Phil., I have a particular approach and view on issues which I might not have otherwise had and I think this is something very positive. The course definitely gave me a solid foundation for my work, both in terms of analytical and productive skills and in understanding the dynamics of issues related to peace theory and international relations.

Arely Miranda Gonzalez, Department of Peace-Keeping Operations, UN New York (2007)

I am working as a consultant in the Department of Peace-Keeping Operations in the United Nations in New York. I'm in a section called Integrated Training Service which is in charge of redeployment, induction and civilian training of civilians going to peace-keeping missions. It's really interesting, particularly because of the interaction between the military, civilian and peace staff in the team. My MPhil in Peace Studies definitely helped me explore my academic interests and now allows me to follow the professional path I want.


Last updated 21 October 2016 by Irish School of Ecumenics (Email).