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Case Study

Kieran Thompson

Durham, UK

MSc Inequality and Society


Already established within his chosen career as a diversity and inclusion practitioner, Kieran Thompson made the decision to return to Higher Education to enhance his knowledge and skills within his field, studying for an MSc Inequality and Society degree at the University of Sunderland.

I chose to return to university to enhance my knowledge of the theoretical and research frameworks that are important for understanding contemporary inequalities. I work closely with marginalised individuals and communities to inform behavioural and organisational change, and in my job, I spend a lot of time questioning how and why things are the way they are, as well as seeking ways to challenge exclusionary behaviours and structural inequalities.

Since enrolling onto the MSc Inequality and Society course, I have developed my research skills and knowledge of social theory that, when combined with the lived experienced of my colleagues, have improved my ability to challenge barriers to equality in my workplace. I chose to study for this degree as the course content closely complements my profession as a diversity and inclusion practitioner.

The modules all cover hugely important and fascinating content and are led by teaching staff who are extremely passionate and knowledgeable about what they do. One of the most challenging aspects of studying the course was having to choose between such fantastic module options.

In my case, I was in the fortunate position to be working in my chosen career before deciding to study. Personally, making the decision to study in my late thirties was a big step, but one that I felt was important to continue my own learning and improve my professional development. There is no denying the hard work that’s involved in studying for a postgraduate degree, but I loved every lecture, and the teaching team were incredibly supportive throughout. Graduating with a masters from the University of Sunderland is not only of huge practical benefit to my role, but it’s also a clear indication of my professional knowledge and credentials.

My advice to any prospective students would be to make sure you carve out the time to explore the library services throughout your studies. Having access to a vast array of reading materials, both physical and digital, has been beneficial to me.

I would definitely recommend the University of Sunderland if you’re considering studying something that you’re passionate about! Throw yourself into the experience and open yourself up to connecting with people. Studying for the MSc Inequality and Society has meant being surrounded by people from all backgrounds and identities who are all passionate about making the world a better place for everyone. Students and staff alike were so welcoming, supportive, and helpful.”

Published 28 October 2022

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