Akash Sriram

Hi! I’m Akash Sriram from India. I am currently studying a masters in Conflict, Development and Security here at the University of Leeds. I completed my undergraduate degree in Media Studies, Economics and Political Science from Christ University in India. Towards the end of my undergraduate course, I decided to specialise in conflict and security studies in the UK. I was searching the internet for a course that would be the best fit for me and found the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Leeds. MA Conflict, Development and Security seemed the best fit!

The department has some of the best academics in the UK and arguably in the world teaching, a wide range of modules. As I was perusing profiles of some staff, I noticed that I had, in fact, read many highly regarded published works of a couple of professors during my undergraduate degree. I was certain I would be interacting with some of the great minds of this field if I studied at the University of Leeds.

So far, my experience with the university has gone beyond expectations. The modules taught have been thought-provoking and this has been all the stimulation I need to form my own nuanced opinions on various academic topics. My experience has not only been academically great. Social activities and events at the union and the city have been amazing opportunities for making friends and networking. The inclusivity and diversity of the University of Leeds is my favourite aspect of the university. The university offers many opportunities to interact with academic and professional stalwarts. Over the past few months, I have met people like Paul Collier and Jeremy Corbyn which has given me some great learning experiences (and bragging rights).

The best thing about my course is that it is the meeting point of two different fields of study. Development and security interact with each other in many unique ways and understanding these interactions in depth are necessary for a stable world. The way this course is designed sets me up for a career as an academic and as a practitioner. Whichever path I choose to take after this degree, this course would’ve given me the skills for it.

Besides studies, I enjoy travelling around Northern England, exploring the city, photography and producing videos for my YouTube channel. The union has been a great place to relax and unwind from academics and I usually take part in many events and activities organised by the union. Occasionally, I spend some time gardening at the sustainable garden behind Roger Stevens building as part of Rooted, the sustainable gardening society.

Leeds is relatively inexpensive while having all the characteristics of a large city in the UK. The heritage and modernity of the city are fascinating. Nature is never too far away from the campus. Woodhouse Moor where I occasionally play with my frisbee and Meanwood Valley hiking trail are my favourite parts of the city.

I live at St Marks Residences which is a 5-minute walk from the campus, 15-minute walk to the city centre and is exclusively a post-graduate accommodation. I like my accommodation because I don’t have to worry about the hassles of renting a house privately and it is reasonably priced. It also gives me the opportunity to meet students from a variety of cultures and faculties. 

Feel free to get in touch!

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