Rui Goncalves

Foundation Programme for Postgraduate Study (Graduate Diploma)

Rui works as Defence Attaché at the Angolan Embassy in London.

‘It’s always been a dream of mine to study in the UK, and especially get a degree from the University of London.

‘When I was thinking of further study, I talked to people already settled in London and they immediately recommended Birkbeck.

‘Through exploring the options offered by Birkbeck at an open evening, I realised the Foundation course would be the perfect way for me to understand the British education system. I spoke with Professor Zhu Hua who encouraged me to do the course and then I was accepted.

‘The Foundation course gave me all the skills I needed to understand the context of the subject I am studying now.

‘Having now progressed to Master’s level study, I am extremely thankful that I did the Foundation course.

‘The syllabus was very well through-through, especially for people from different educational systems. I had superb teachers who were consistently helpful.

‘One of the modules on the course – introduction to postgraduate studies – prepared me with study skills which are now vital for successfully completing my Master’s degree, while another module, on academic English, taught me practical skills in structuring essays.

‘The three main tools the Foundation course has enabled me to develop my critical thinking skills and my ability to critically analyse information, as well as develop my professional communication skills, so I learnt how to engage an audience in a presentation to achieve specific outcomes. I now feel considerably more able to succeed in my studies, as the course has given me the ability to see the power of an argument.

‘If I hadn’t done the Foundation I don’t think I could have coped with Master’s degree study, which I am now pursing at Birkbeck in the Department of Politics.’

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