Why did you choose to study a PhD in African Studies?

I come from a multidisciplinary background and I was open to any field related to my research interests. Africa has been a central focus in my previous studies, so an Africa-specific Department was a natural choice. It’s exciting to be surrounded by people who are as passionate about the continent as I am.

Why did you choose to undertake research at the University of Birmingham?

The most important thing for me was to find the right supervisors who are experts in my area of interest. Apart from that, Birmingham offered the flexibility I needed as a mature student with family. I don’t live in Birmingham, but the university is located so centrally in the country that my visits have been easy to organise.

What are the best things about your course?

The staff in my Department are amazing – knowledgeable, approachable and supportive. It’s a really stimulating research environment.

What is life like as a researcher at the University of Birmingham?

I really appreciate the fact that I have a lot of independence, but I can also get support when I need it. The flexibility of doing a part-time degree means that finding a good work-life balance hasn’t been too difficult.

What support have you received during your PhD?

As well as transferring their knowledge and skills to support my project, my supervisors have also helped me grow in confidence and take ownership of my research.

Outside your research, what experience have you gained and how will it help you in the future?

My supervisors have always encouraged me to participate in conferences and collaborations, and through these I have formed important international networks.