UCL Department of Geography


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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Study  /  Student Testimonials  /  Sam Halvorsen PhD

Sam Halvorsen PhD

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Sam Halvorsen is a Lecturer in Human Geography at Queen Mary University of London, having previously worked at the Universities of Cambridge and Sheffield.

The opportunity to research and teach during his PhD, he says, was invaluable experience.

“I was drawn to UCL by its Globalisation MSc, which stood out from its competitors, and for its world-class Geography Department. My PhD was in a way an extension of my Master’s degree and I was very happy to continue working in the same research environment.

“My PhD involved researching a social movement called Occupy London, which appeared in September 2011 in London. I undertook a participatory study, using my active involvement in the movement in order to understand it.

Skills for a career

“Highlights of my PhD include, doing cutting edge empirical research; attending international conferences and civil society forums to discuss the academic and practical implications of my research; working with a great set of fellow PhD students; developing skills as a critical writer.

“Just about all the skills I developed from my PhD are beneficial to my career given that I have continued in academia. This includes writing; critical thinking and reading; presentation; time management; teaching independent working; qualitative methods and analysis.

World class

“The Department is world-class with leading scholars and a great reputation. It is located in central London in the heart of an academic community. It has great networks including with international scholars. It values both empirical and theoretical research. Staff are very friendly and a great support. They provide PhD students with their own desk, something I understand is not the norm elsewhere.”