Mark Poustie, professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Strathclyde tells Patricia Mascarenhas how humanities and social sciences provide various skills for a broad range of professional fields.
1.What was the purpose of your visit?
The purpose of our visit to Mumbai was to develop links with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). There is a very good fit both in terms of ethos and subject coverage between our Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) and TISS, for example, in education, social work, media and cultural studies and law. We are seeking to develop student exchange and study abroad opportunities as well as the possibility of faculty exchange for now and in the longer term, possibly conduct joint programmes.
2.Tell us about the scholarships the University of Strathclyde, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences have for Indian students.
We offer three scholarships specifically for Indian students to study MSc in Investigative Journalism, the LLM in International Law and Sustainable Development and the LLM in International Economic Law. These are worth £3000 each. In addition, Indian students are eligible to apply for a number of scholarships at university, faculty and school level. At university level they can apply for the Commonwealth shared scholarship (which fully funds fees) for the LLMs in Internet Law and Policy and the LLM in International Law and Sustainable Development; and international scholarships of £4000 for any postgraduate course offered in HaSS. At faculty level we have very recently launched 14 John Anderson International postgraduate scholarships which provide £5,000 towards the tuition fees for international applicants to any of our full-time masters courses. At school level the Law School has also very recently launched 12 Lord Hope postgraduate scholarships of £1,000 each for any suitably qualified applicant to one of its taught masters courses. Inmost cases a first class degree or equivalent is normally required.
3. Could you give us details on some of the key LLM courses
LLM in International Economic Law offers students the opportunity to explore how international economic law deals with ‘real world’ challenges. LLM in Internet Law and Policy enables students to study the legal implications surrounding IT and telecommunications. LLM in Human Rights Law offers the opportunity to develop a detailed understanding of human rights law at the UK, European and international levels. One of the distinctive aspect of the LLM in International Economic Law and Human Rights Law is that they offer the opportunity to undertake a field dissertation which involves a placement with a governmental, non-governmental body or a social enterprise in a developing country to inform the research underlying their dissertations
4. Tell us about the MLitt in Investigative Journalism and the MSc in Digital Journalism programme
MLitt in Digital Journalism is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to produce multimedia news and features and to enable them to develop sound analytical, ethical and entrepreneurial skills. MSc in Investigative Journalism draws on a broad range of specialised skills, among others working with documents and archives, understanding standards in government or business or knowing how to overturn a wrongful conviction.
5. What are the courses popular with Indian students at the University?
We had 170 Indian students at Strathclyde in 2013-14 with the bulk in the business school (91) and engineering faculty (63). Currently the most popular courses are MBA, MSc in Finance, MSc in Business and Management and MSc in International Management in the Business School and the PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering in the engineering faculty.
6. While the world focuses on management education, what is the future of humanities and social sciences? Are the streams taking a back seat?
A tech-driven global economy focusing on management still very much requires the disciplines we teach to function and grow such as law, education, journalism and social work. Applications to humanities and social sciences at Strathclyde are actually increasing at undergraduate, postgraduate and research levels. For example, last year our postgraduate applications were up 33 per cent and our research applications were up 41 per cent. In recent years we have actually raised our BA entry qualifications but are continuing to receive more applications.
7. What is the scope of humanities and social sciences?
Humanities and social sciences courses are still very relevant to our society. We need teachers, lawyers, journalists, linguists for our tech-driven global economy to flourish. So there are opportunities and international exposure provides a great opportunity to broaden and deepen experience and enhance employment prospects in a competitive market. Employers also value the strong intellectual and communication skills students develop with us in humanities and social science degrees and thus many of our graduates do go on to obtain jobs in management, banking, consulting etc.
8. Advice to young aspirants who wish to enter this field?
For those interested in pursuing these courses, there are very interesting opportunities and I would strongly encourage potential applicants to pursue humanities and social science courses only if they have an interest in them. Just do well in your school and undergraduate studies. We look for at least a second class degree at undergraduate level if you wish to pursue PG studies.