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Ray Casserly

Where are you from?

Navan, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

What degree pathway did you studying at Queen’s?

I completed a Graduate Diploma (full-time) in Ethnomusicology in 2007 and my Ph.D. (part-time) in Ethnomusicology in 2012.

Why did you choose to study Anthropology at Queen’s?

My first choice for postgraduate study in Anthropology at Queen’s came down to some very obvious benefits. I wanted to study in the finest, most resourced, progressive, and prestigious Anthropology department in Ireland. The Ethnomusicology Programme within the department provides the best amalgamation of theory (in lectures) and practice (in ensembles and performances) for the study of music in all aspects of its social constructions and cultural meanings. It is this mixture of deep library research, and the ‘hands on’ approach to learning a wide range of new and different music instruments and styles that allows me to say studying Anthropology at Queen’s has been my best decision yet.

What about studying at Queen’s in general? What is that like?

Studying at Queen’s is a fantastic experience, with so many facilities available for students to benefit from. Besides an outstanding opportunity to develop your potential academically, Queen’s offers so much for your personal development too. Be it an interest in sport, the arts, or simply some quality social time with great people, the Queen’s community has on offer for students the PEC, the Queen’s Film Theatre, stage performances from drama students, musical recitals from School of Music, as well as the massive Students Union for ‘cost effective’ socialising!

What have you been doing since you left Queen’s?

I submitted my Ph.D. in September 2011, attended my viva in January 2012, and graduated in the ceremonies in July 2012. During that time I’ve been appointed as Resident Director to the Council on International Educational Exchange study centre in QUB. The CIEE international education programme (the Society, Conflict, and Peace programme) is embedded within our own Institute of Irish Studies. I continue to work very closely with the school of History and Anthropology to encourage international students to attend the school as study abroad students.

Without the exceptional learning experience and professional development I earned from studying at the school of History and Anthropology, I do not believe I could have been in a position to earn the post. It’s a great job that I love, and it allows me to continue my research, travel the world with conferences, and teach on various courses and ensembles for CIEE and QUB. My studies at the school have changed my life, both personally and professionally, having moved from an agricultural laboring post in August 2011 to an international education post in September 2011 (all due to my studies at QUB)!

Would you recommend studying Anthropology to other students? What advice would you give them?

I recommend Anthropology to those students who wish to broaden their level of understanding to limitless horizons. Anthropology, and all that one learns from studying the subject, can help you understand the purpose and place of society, culture and how the two are inextricably intertwined.