Elena Guidorzi [MSc, FT 2012-2013]
My experience at King’s College was remarkable as it provided diverse educational environments and situations which were exciting as well as challenging.
For example, in addition to the excellent library resources and classes-based education moments, several fieldtrip opportunities were offered.
The latter were indeed valuable learning activities. They allowed putting studied issues into context and helped gaining an empirical understanding.
The one year postgraduate experience was also enriched by the environmental internship programme. Through this optional module we were given the opportunity to apply for organisations of interest and gain working experiences. This experience was of particular importance as it permitted gaining hands-on experience on sustainable policy related organisations by observing and participating in practices and activities. I recognised a great value on this opportunity as I could better understand issues around bridging academia and policy and the consequent impacts.
In general, through the master’s programme in Sustainable Cities, I was able to gain a comprehensive understanding of the issues regarding sustainable policy for the built environment, how these are developed and what are their impacts in a context of transformative urban governance.
From a methodological point of view, it helped me developing strong research skills that could be applied to different topics and subjects. Moreover, I was trained to develop and apply analytical and critical skills which encouraged me to challenge mainstream ideas.
I’m currently working for the local government at the Royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in support of the Climate Change programme. I’m collaborating on different projects dealing with GHG emissions reduction, evidence-based policy development and behaviour change.
The experiences described provided me with the appropriate knowledge to understand the issues around effective implementation of sustainable agendas such as the importance of different stakeholders and how these influence governance in projects and organisations.
Richard Kuziara [FT 2012-2013]
If my time at King's was mentally challenging and required strict discipline to keep up with all the necessary reading and coursework, the rewards of mastering a subject made it more than worth it. Doing a Master's in Sustainable Cities at King's is not, however, simply about cramming facts and figures to be regurgitated at will. Rather, for me the greatest rewards came from learning a new way of thinking - a critical evidence based approach that is always open to new possibilities and never shy of challenging the orthodox or re-examining the seemingly obvious.
For this unexpected challenge to my life philosophy, I hold the teaching staff entirely responsible; without a doubt they are the College's best asset. At every stage from starting the course to handing in my dissertation the professionalism and attention to detail of everybody in the Geography Department was outstanding. I am particularity grateful to those members of staff who gave up their own time to organise walks and field trips which served as a great way to learn something and get to know other students at the same time.
Whilst the facilities at King's are generally very good it is perhaps the location within the middle of London - one of the most exciting and yet unequal cities in the world - that makes it such an excellent place to study Sustainable Cities. For those seeking inspiration for research projects, a critical eye will soon find the good, the bad and every shade in between.
For me completing the Sustainable Cities Master's has fulfilled some important personal goals and also enabled me to embark on a new career path. Since completing the course, I have been appointed as a Health Improvement Practitioner in the Public Health Team at Oxfordshire County Council where I continue to build upon what I learned at King's to help empower people in local communities to improve their health outcomes and life chances. If you want to help make a difference this course is an excellent first step!
Louise Russell [2011-12]
I am very pleased to have done this master's and truly believe it helped me gain employment in the sustainability industry. With urban sustainability emerging as a key consideration in the twenty first century this master's is grounded in current issues.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course, finding it stimulating and topically relevant. In particular, I enjoyed the multi-disciplinary nature of the master's, that considered both the social and environmental sciences that underpin urban sustainability. Having completed a degree in Environmental Science, I was surprised how interesting I found the social science modules which I had not studied before, and allowed me to develop a more rounded skill set.
I would have no hesitation in recommending this master's
Eleni Maria Harlan [PT 2008-2010]
The Sustainable Cities programme at King's appealed to me because of its effort to combine theoretical discourses with practical hands-on politics and planning discussions. Coming from a humanities background I was keen to learn more about the physical science of sustainability but I also wanted to build on my theoretical and philosophical skills. The programme enabled discourse between these two disciplines and I enjoyed the diverse breadth of topics covered.
I did my Masters part-time which allowed me to use it as a platform to develop relevant work experience in the sector, including a summer internship as a researcher at a climate change policy think tank in the US (as an events co-ordinator for a Greek environmental non-profit organisation), and on a sustainable travel project for a consultancy business in London. I believe this balance between working towards a postgraduate qualification and developing my experience was crucial in allowing me to secure a permanent job before I graduated. I now work on a graduate development programme at a transport planning consultancy in London.
I am pleased with how much I have been able to apply what I learned at King's in my job; using joined-up thinking about a sustainable future has been an asset in furthering my career.