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From practising policy to a Politics PhD


My name is Dayo and I am a second year PhD student at the University studying Politics. I am researching how underrepresented members of the public in policy making (in the case of my research, Black and Minority Ethnic young adults aged 18 – 25) are included in the process of policy making. I also work as a teaching assistant for politics related courses in undergraduate and Master’s level courses.

In Depth…

My route into PhD has been an interesting journey rather than a direct path. It has been a process of re-inventing myself and following my passion. My undergraduate degree was in Economics which I realised quite early on was not for me so I did not particularly excel in this degree. After a year out working, I figured out what my next steps would be so I did Master’s degrees in Human Resource Management and Management Psychology. I did well in these courses. Doing a PhD was something I had previously considered as it was suggested by my academic adviser during one of my Master’s degrees but I did not pursue it.

On graduating, I worked for about seven years in the private and not-for-profit sectors in Learning and Organisational Development. The knowledge and soft skills I gained at university meant that I was able to progress in my career by successfully utilising these skills.

Whilst I had no academic knowledge of policy making, I began to get interested in policy making as one of my jobs gave me exposure to this field. I then started to notice the lack of diverse representation in decision making bodies of public policy. There were ‘hidden’ and ‘silent’ groups of people who were not getting involved in decision-making.

I wanted to know why this was the case and also find solutions that would increase representation in policy making so that their experiences of issues could be taken into account when policy is being made.

Transitioning from being a practitioner to being back in university has been great; it has given me the opportunity to have the headspace to read and articulate the issues I am concerned about. I am doing lots of reading! What is also great and a highlight of my degree is that my fieldwork - working with real people in the real world - provides the opportunity to design an approach based on academic theories and study whether it works or not.

Skills gained from the practitioner work, in particular project management skills (time and resource management as well as organisational), are helping me progress with my PhD.

Through my journey, I have hopefully shown that a route to doing a PhD in Politics does not have to be typical. I have also shown that political parties and elections is just one component of a Politics degree.

So if you want to be the change, a degree in Politics could be for you!

Going Further…

If you are interested in finding out more about politics, here are some links you may find useful.

Politics degrees in Manchester:

Career options as a Politics graduate:

Information about how Government works:

Information on the UK Parliament:

How research impacts on Policy:


People are the Ultimate Assets

by YPU Admin on August 18, 2016, Comments. Tags: Humanities, Human Resource Management, PhD, Research, and UoM


My name is Ning Kang and I am currently a first year PhD student in Development Policy and Management with the Global Development Institute (GDI), which was officially launched not long ago. But actually, this institute is not new. It united the strengths of the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) and the Brooks World Poverty Institute (BWPI). I was originally from IDPM, where I finished my master degree in 2013-2014.

It was actually quite interesting that I almost slipped with Manchester three years ago when I firstly got the offer for my Masters degree. I applied for the Human Resource Management programme without realising there were two similar programmes, one was with MBS (Manchester Business School), and the other was with IDPM. So when I realised that my offer was with IDPM instead of MBS, I actually thought about giving up the offer as I wanted to go to MBS. But fortunately, I didn’t refuse the offer and still came eventually. And the moment I started my study, I fell in love with my school. The lecturers have various backgrounds in terms of nationalities and research interests, which make the whole study environment diverse and interesting. They are also caring, encouraging and inspiring, which became part of the reasons for me coming back for my PhD. Now, I am enjoying my PhD life with colleagues coming from more than 12 different countries!

In Depth

I did have a chance to choose another university or even another country to do a PhD, but I chose to stay with IDPM (which is GDI now) as I found organizations in developing countries are worth studying; their HRM is also a fascinating topic owing to its immaturity. Being a Chinese, I have witnessed the changes happening every day. It is not only about the changes of the whole environment, but also about people. As people are considered as the ultimate assets, how to manage them properly has becoming challenging, hereby HRM has become more and more significant.

When HRM was first introduced in the 20th century, it was considered as a comprehensive and coherent approach for better management and development of people in the workplace. Early in the development of HR field the emphasis was often focused on ensuring that employees had the ability and motivation to accomplish certain work allocated by the organization. However, to meet challenges, researchers and practitioners alike have begun to explore the linkages between HRM and strategic management, hereby strategic human resource management (SHRM) is labelled. With the introduction of SHRM, the focus of HR has shifted from simply managing people and allocating jobs towards exploring how human resource can contribute to organization’s goals by utilising their strategic capabilities.

In recognition of its significance, innovation with regard to HRM is currently happening in many places and more recently in China. The open-up policy in China allows knowledge emanating from outside the country to be embraced, which allows innovation and implementation of SHRM gradually taking place within the country. Also, having increasing involvement with international business since the entrance of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the past few decades have not only seen Chinese attracting foreign direct investment into the country, but also have witnessed Chinese multi-national enterprises (MNEs) expansion to overseas owing to the “going out” (Zouchuqu) policy. My study aims at exploring the opportunities and challenges generated by Chinese policy and culture to Chinese MNEs. The examination will be conducted both in the head office in China and the subsidiaries abroad. Hopefully through this study, there can be a better understanding for Chinese MNEs regarding HRM when they expanding to other countries. Meanwhile, it may also be interesting and helpful for other organizations which share similarities with Chinese MNEs.