Progress to Postgrad: Lucy

Posted on: 8 April 2024 by Richard Finch in Graduate stories

Lucy Judge is an Ancient History graduate who is now studying for a Master of Arts degree in International Relations and Security.

I’m currently undertaking my Master of Arts degree in International Relations and Security. Whilst completing my undergraduate degree in Ancient History at the University of Liverpool, I had decided I wanted to pursue a career in politics in the future, as I really enjoyed the political aspects of my course and had loved my time at Liverpool so far. So, when I saw the course opportunity I knew it was what I wanted to do, as I wanted to challenge myself.

If I had to say to thing which has helped me to get to where I am now, I would say dedication and perseverance. I am also very lucky to have a great support system of friends and family. Also speaking to academic advisors/ lecturers is so beneficial if you ever need help with an assignment, so it is important to never shy away from asking for help and advice. In terms of my favourite experience during my postgraduate degree, I would have to say getting out of my comfort zone and learning something new. Despite covering issues relating to politics during undergrad, every topic was completely new to me and felt daunting to begin with, especially since most of my cohort had already studied politics. So hard work paying off at something completely new was a great feeling of achievement.

Alternatively, the most challenging part was adapting to the leap from undergraduate to postgraduate. There is much more independent work required, but lecturers are always there to help.

For current students wanting to progress to postgraduate, my advice would be to remain focused, always ask for help if needed, and take advantage of every opportunity.

I knew I wanted to continue my studies, and looked for PhDs on

I would like to pursue a research career in ecology and conservation and want to contribute to future biodiversity and natural population conservation. I decided it was best to undertake a relevant PhD DTP in my field of study.

I completed a master's degree in Environmental Science after my undergraduate degree, and then further applied for my ACCE DTP PhD programme through

I also undertook an additional voluntary research project along my master's to help with experience in the research area.

Being able to further my education through a master's programme and experiencing more opportunities of fieldwork after COVID, and now being able to follow a research journey on my PhD that closely matches my future career wishes. Also learning how to continue my career as a researcher, and learning how to undertake research more independently has been exciting.

Along a PhD you can have opportunities to demonstrate/teach on student modules to increase your experience of university teaching, although I don’t yet have experience with demonstrating, I think the additional opportunities that are offered to PhD students are great for future career plans and I am looking forward to future opportunities from this.

My recent master's dissertation was my biggest achievement so far. This was a big step up from the undergraduate dissertations and required a lot of independent work and refining to achieve the higher grades. I had to learn a new lab technique in an unfamiliar study area and also new statistical methods in R. However, it was also rewarding at the end of the project once it was completed and receiving a distinction.

It was also challenging transitioning to PhD study and going from a course with set modules and assignments with more supervision and structure to one which is more independently led although with regular supervisor meetings to discuss progress. However, this also allows you more freedom in regard to research interests inside your chosen PhD topic.

My advice to current students and recent graduates:

  1. Make sure to fully research your future career options to ensure you are taking the most interesting path in regard to yourself.
  2. Take note of additional talks/workshops taking place that are often advertised by email as these can provide additional useful information relevant to your study area.
  3. It’s a good idea to keep your LinkedIn up to date so possible employers can see your recent achievements.