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A day in the life of a student

25 March 2019

3 mins

Security, Peace-Building and Diplomacy MSc student, Selsabil has written this blog on a day in the life of a Loughborough University London student.

They say a week is a long time in politics. It’s the same for me, being a student in the Institute of Diplomacy and International Governance at Loughborough University London. For one module, ‘The Art of Governance: Diplomacy, Negotiation and Lobbying’, this is particularly true. As a block-taught module, the content will span over three weeks which in allows you to view the content as interlinked.

9.50am

I arrive to campus to attend my lectures and in the morning, I always see a group of relatively tired faces. Some are gazing longingly into the blue lights of their phone screens; however the majority are eager to tackle arguably the biggest question of British politics currently, Brexit!

10am-1pm

My first lecture is centred around understanding and practicing negotiations. The week prior to this lecture, a senior diplomat from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office joined our campus to discuss their role in the midst of Brexit, so I was looking forward to this lecture in gaining a deeper understanding of the workings of government officials.

Dr Nicola Chelotti, who has written extensively on Diplomacy and negotiations within Europe, begins the class with a definition of negotiation and for the next three hours we progress into a detailed exploration of the functional elements of negotiation to navigating multi-layered interests.

Before the break, we were asked by Nicola to form into pairs for a class activity: the Ultimatum Game. In this game, which intends to illustrate considerations of power, rationality and consequence, Player 1 must choose from a gift of £100 what amount to offer Player 2. If Player 2 decides to reject, neither Players get any money. I decide to suggest a 50-50 split with my partner, who naturally accepts. I later learn another pair accepted a 99-1 split, which Nicola explained was technically a rational decision.

2pm-5pm

Professor Helen Drake, Director of the Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance, begins the afternoon session. The content concerns the multi-layered complexities of the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU).

The class takes its natural progression from an academic based understanding to a more practical understanding. This is done through simulating some aspect of the current Brexit negotiations by dividing the class into UK and EU groups each mirroring the genuine interests. It was interesting, eye-opening and certainly put the reading and class material into perspective.


For more information on our Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance master’s programmes, please see our webpage.

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