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Bradford student Maria, stood in front of a red wooden garage door, wearing a black headscarf and a checkered scarf.


BA (Hons) International Relations, Politics and Security Studies

The right decision

I’m studying international relations and security studies. I get to study peace studies, violence, peace and conflict, regional politics. It’s very diverse.

When I came here and I started experiencing different events, talks and different people around me. That reassured me that I’d made the right decision.

I had offers from other universities but I’m glad that I’ve chosen this university because the amount of offers and opportunities that it’s given me, I don't think I would have found that from elsewhere. 

Peace Studies allows me to explore my own self and other issues like gender inequality. I’ve taken that to the students' union and got involved.

Tackling injustices

Making a difference for other people makes me happy.  When I came to university I stayed away from student politics. Then I realised there's this emptiness in my own heart.

I always knew I had that thing of tackling injustices in me. That’s been there since I was a child.

Seeing somebody hurt or going through a struggle and seeing that they don't have a voice.

I look at my own situation, it’s not that hard compared to other people.  Other people are going through other hardships and it’s much worse than mine.

People protesting and a raised fist showing solidarity and support.

Cycling to freedom

Cycling brings a lot of freedom; to explore different places, feel healthier, more positive and independent.

Whilst you're cycling your lungs expand, so that stress that you keep in your chest; that disappears.

I thought of picking up cycling to raise money for Bradford’s Soup Kitchen and Students Minds by going on to a 400 mile ride. I cycled all the way to Hull and then took a ferry from Hull to Belgium, cycled from Belgium to France, and then from France to Holland.

Maria in her cycling helmet.

Women are powerful

We’re in the 21st century now and we’re still fighting women’s inequalities.

I’ve seen the struggles of my own mother, other women around me, and also the female students on our campus. 

I feel like I’ve got this opportunity to voice their concerns and their issues.

Women have a place in society today, women are powerful, women are independent and women can transform society. They've always been at the forefront of tackling issues that also concern them. It needs to come from everyone, everyone needs to be a part.

It’s all about leaving a legacy behind, leaving something behind for the students to work on and continue, because these issues need to be tackled long term, it’s not a short term issue.

Feeling at home

I’ve grown a lot in Bradford. I’ve been picking up all the opportunities that I can, travelling, exploring and getting ideas.

Bradford is not what you think it is. Bradford is a beautiful place where a lot of people connect together from diverse backgrounds.  It’s a place where you can share your happiness, your sorrows, just come together as a community. I’m very glad that I’m actually here. Bradford’s made me feel like I’m at home.

I really loved that there are so many different people here. Everyone gets along and that’s really nice to see. 

A photograph of Maria Battul

Politics Peace & International Relations

We've been international pioneers in the study of Politics, Peace Studies and International Development for over 40 years: we have outstanding international partnerships, historic collections, and conduct world-leading research.

We work with governments and organisations around the world such as the United Nations, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the Africa and the China Development Banks.

Our courses are informed by the expertise of our lecturers and enriched by the experience of practitioners in our field, including our many alumni, with whom we partner inside and outside the classroom. As a student you can also engage with detailed policy work by attending our research groups and extracurricular talks, conferences, and training events, on and off campus.

Politics Peace & International Relations >>


The nuclear disarmament and peace symbol