Ciarran Buckley

BA (Politics)
Studying Master’s in Politics and International Relations

I studied A Levels in Law, Spanish and English Literature and Language at Collyer’s from 2016-2019. Collyer’s was the starting point to something greater for me. It was a time where things were serious and so if you wanted to achieve something, you had to work for it. The teachers who taught me during my A-Levels exemplified this attitude – showing genuine care and interest for the students.

I went on to study a BA in Politics from the University of East Anglia and I am going to be starting a Master’s in Politics and International Relations at Durham University this September 2022.

My days at university are filled with lectures and seminars, with some time for extracurricular activities. In total I am expected to complete 300 hours of work in total for the semester which includes attending lectures and seminars, as well as doing the reading and research into your essays. So, for the semesters of the first and second academic year, it’s 900 hours in total per semester whereas for the third year, it’s 600 hours, but a lot of work is then put on the dissertation. That number of hours does vary with the different styles of degrees, but for me, most of my degree was coursework and so I had to work a lot of hours to progress through the course.

For extracurricular activities, I would volunteer for Nightline, a peer support group that operates similarly to Samaritans where a shift would run for 12 hours. I was also the External Coordinator for Norwich Nightline, where I had to put in at least 1-2 hours a day managing external relations with Nightline. I was also an active member for the Christian Union at UEA, where I would help out if I can, such as volunteering for friends’ international to spread the message of Jesus to international students. I would also do ‘watering’ for the Christian Union, where I’ve had to stand outside of the campus nightclub and give people water.

There were skills and attitudes that I developed when I was younger that I still have that helped me during University as well as my life in general. These include resilience and passion, and that is a trait people have taken note of and greatly admire, so I would say never let go of those traits. However, I did have major flaws – I took things personally and I was reactionary. My advice to my younger self would be to do the total opposite of both as doing the opposite actually takes you further in life than most people. I would say that I am still learning, as you never stop learning!

What next Ciarran? I would like to work for the government, either becoming an MP or working in a Select Committee.