Matthew Dieppe

MA International Relations

Matthew Dieppe

Since retiring from a career in Social Care, with a primary interest in child welfare, and after working as a civil servant, Matthew has undertaken consultancy work and has been an advisor to a group of private children’s homes and residential special schools. He is a local Magistrate and serves on the governing body of two local schools

Since retiring from a career in Social Care, with a primary interest in child welfare, and after working as a civil servant, Matthew has undertaken consultancy work and has been an advisor to a group of private children’s homes and residential special schools. He is a local Magistrate and serves on the governing body of two local schools.

I have always been concerned about inequality and have worked with and among the most disadvantaged and marginalized/excluded members of society. I have links with Africa, where my wife was born, and my daughter and family now live. I decided this course would develop my understanding of development issues, primarily in Africa and I took it primarily out of personal interest and for self-fulfilment.

I was looking for a taught programme and being local was a crucial factor: The course was strongly recommended by an economics dean of an Oxford University faculty.

The staff have all been able with a wide range of interests, but being taught by Magnus Ryner, an extremely able professor, in the first seminar was quite outstanding: where else would you get that? His teaching was exceptionally good, he is extremely knowledgeable and an excellent teacher and tutor – and very personable and friendly.

The course structure has provided a good range of module options; the approach of seminars and lectures in the first semester, and more focus on seminars in the second semester encourages personal development in taking more responsibility for one’s own studying. The course is clearly an advanced post-graduate course, with a very strong theoretical foundation that is an ideal course on its own or excellent preparation for a PhD.

The student group is very international, which is very stimulating and offers a wide range of perspectives on different issues. The staff run weekly seminars open to students which have been excellent. Being with an international group of students from a huge range of backgrounds is very stimulating. Although I am much older than all the other students, I have been made very welcome and feel fully integrated with the course.

Oxford Brookes has reasonable library and study facilities, and provides the opportunity to join the Bodlean Library – again what a privilege.

I have worked with other students to set up the Brookes IRIL Postgrad Society and agreed to be treasurer. The society is organizing a sponsored trip to European Institutions in Brussels and The Hague in June.

Oxford is clearly an exceptional centre, with a huge range of free lectures and opportunities, as well as a rich cultural life. Location was a big factor when we moved here six years ago.