BAFTA Scholarship Programme


BAFTA is the British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public.

In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round, international programme of learning events and initiatives that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York.

The BAFTA Scholarship Programme is offering talented Chinese nationals the chance to take a postgraduate course in film, television, or games as an international student in the UK.

  • Chinese nationals can apply for up to £20,000 towards course fees at an industry-recognised UK institution, plus up to £10,000 for living expenses. Deadline: Friday 3 June
  • The successful recipients will also be mentored by industry professionals and have free access to BAFTA events.

For further information, or to apply, visit:



Case Study – Damilola Fakiyesi

What is your nationality? NigerianDamilola Fakiyesi 2

What/when did you study at Durham? MSc Economics & Finance, October 2009 to January 2011.

What are you doing now? I work with Access Bank Plc in Lagos, Nigeria. I am a Transactor, Project & Structured Finance Group.

What does your job involve? My job involves the arranging and structuring of project finance loans to include limited and non recourse financing.

It also involves the analysis of company and industry fundamentals, financial modeling, forecasts and the provision of structuring and advisory support to core market facing units.

How did your time at Durham help you to succeed?

My time at Durham University has been fundamental to my career growth. I can say Durham made possible my transition from Retail Banking to Investment Banking. While I remember the process being tough, the knowledge has stayed with me ever since. Constant practice before and during the seminar sessions all through the MSc. built a strong modeling foundation, which I have been able to apply to Project Finance.

What advice would you give to current students?

Take advantage of every learning opportunity provided during your time in Durham If you are a postgraduate student and happen to be in Ustinov College take advantage of the multi-cultural background to learn about different cultures and exchange ideas. Enjoy every second of your time at Durham and work hard, the result is worth it. Finally take the boat ride and take lots of pictures.

Any other information you want to provide?

The local Durham University Alumni and Durham University Business School Alumni in Nigeria has also been pivotal I’m my career development which is another avenue both current and graduating students can utilize either in providing guidance for research work or for networking.

Summer’s work is child’s play

Name: Summer Abuzayeed Summer

Course: MA Community and Youth Work

Graduated: 2012

Nationality: Palestinian

Current employer: Right To Play, Amman, Jordan 

Previous employers: Investing In Children, Moving On, The United Nations Relief
and Works Agency (UNRWA)

I am from Palestine. I was born in ‘Gaza Strip’ and lived there until I was 26 years old. My undergraduate degree was a BA in English Language Teaching from Al-Aqsa University. I wanted to attain a masters degree and applied for a Durham Palestine Educational Trust scholarship and a place to study at Durham University. I was delighted to be enrolled in the School of Applied Social Sciences to complete a MA in Community and Youth Work.

Currently, I work as a ‘Field Supervisor’ at Right To Play organization in Amman, Jordan.

Durham was my choice as it is a very beautiful and safe University. My initial research revealed its great ranking among the UK universities. It is one of the top three universities in the UK in the specialization of humanities and social work. Durham is a beautiful small city which lies close to the countryside with no shortage of tranquility and peace.

I’d say that the best feature of my course is its practical elements. We had two placements in the field at local and international organizations; each placement is 2 months at least. We gained real world experience of issues to directly deal with cases and beneficiaries and were provided with constructive supervisor’s feedback throughout. Both theoretical and practical sides were comprehensive for all important and modern issues in the world. We were prepared to be ideal practitioners who are capable of addressing their community’s needs and problems.

The range of extra-curricular activities to engage in at Durham University is incredible. I registered in the Agriculture Society, Book Club and Writing Club. Along with my academic work I therefore had a very busy schedule.

Right to Play Organization (RTP) works on a very important theory which is the Theory of Change. It has a unique approach to create a sustainable change in the communities by increasing educational levels and awareness for children and young people via using the power of sports and games. It also advocates children and youth rights to play, be safe and access education according to the UN Convention of the Right of the Child and has helped over one million children around the world.

The selection process to my organisation consisted of three-stages.  Initial applications were filtered according to qualifications; qualified candidates were contacted, then invited to complete an exam. The final stage was the face-to-face interview and the offer.

My role has many responsibilities. It is very interesting and rewarding and my main task involves assessing the training needs in the area of collaboration with partners and community supporters. I am also involved in delivering workshops and training to partner organisations, assessing the effectiveness of projects, developing and implementing child protection policies and ensuring they are adhered to. I am trusted to make changes where necessary to create a more positive and safe environment for children.

My education at Durham University was fantastic preparation for this role. The day-to-day interaction with professionals for the whole two years of the course enabled me to enrich my own experience and understanding. The detailed focus on current global issues, management, community mobilization, community and youth policy and practice was ideal for my needs. The experiences gained on the placements with Investing In Children, Moving On allowed me to apply my new knowledge in the real world under the supervision of great practitioners.

My advice to potential and current students is to go for it and make every day in the University count!

Iynna in New York

Name: Iynna HalilouIynna

Nationality: Cameroonian

Durham degree: BA, International Relations

Post graduate course: MA, International Relations and Affairs with a specialization in International Security

Institution & country: New York University, USA

Why did you decide to pursue postgraduate studies overseas? First of all, I have always wanted to study in the United States, and particularly in New York City. One of my future goals is to enter the United Nations, being close to the headquarters would only maximize my chances of being hired by this organization. Moreover, I am very passionate about security issues and American institutions are known for providing a top education in this field. And lastly I chose specifically NYU because of its reputation worldwide, and the values the university upholds.

How did you research postgraduate study options? I have known for eight years that I would integrate a grad school to further my knowledge (no matter what course I would be doing – long studies have basically always appealed to me). Since my very first year I have been looking into potential schools that would be interesting for me – and in my final year I divided between schools that were more oriented towards research (leading to a PhD) and those with a professional focus (classes taught by practitioners that would really train me to become a diplomat) – my choice became very easy.

What did the application process involve? The first thing to note is that the application process can be very daunting but actually with a bit of organization it works out perfectly.

It involved a CV and unlike most firms, grad schools do accept 5-page resumes that cover your travels, potential gap years, besides your educational background and professional experiences.

The GRE: I would really recommend you start revising at least three months before submitting your application to grad school. I agree it is a lot but there is a whole list of things you need to do before practicing for the tests. For example, learning the words known as the GRE words that I advise you to know (by heart ideally) because it is 99% certain that these words will come up during the test. Durham University Careers Centre has some useful resources for test preparation and the advisers also provided useful tips regarding my cover letter.

Getting used to the format of the test: with practice you will soon realize that the test is not as hard as it seems to be because the same type of questions come up (whether in the mathematics section or the text analysis one). There are few tricks and tips that you should know too, and this will make your life so much easier.

Does the teaching style differ to your Durham experience?  NYU is definitely different than Durham. NYU is very famous for being extremely quantitative. In my field of International Relations at Durham we tended to write a lot of essays which is why I am very comfortable when it comes to writing. However at NYU I am confronted with quantitative analysis and statistics all the time which I think it is really good. The professors at NYU really encourage us to attend talks and conferences as part of the learning experience. Moreover, seminars, also called recitations are completely different to the seminars at Durham. At Durham they reinforced what was taught in lectures, whereas at NYU they aim to use of a different approach to the same question.

Why did you decide to study this particular course? 9/11 and the rise of terrorism drastically change my perception of the world and human nature and I am passionate about understanding the roots of terrorism and aim to act as a policymaker in order to deal with this global threat. However I chose to study security issues because new challenges are not only about countering terrorism, and I am also very interested in conflict resolution and nuclear nonproliferation.

How will this course help your career plans? My professors are all experts in the field I am interested in. Moreover I wish to work within the UN framework and I think it is definitely a good thing to be so close to the headquarters. 

What advice would you give to students considering postgraduate study overseas? Go for it! It is an amazing and enriching experience. But you must think about it very early, because the process to apply in the USA is long, taking 12-18 months and it takes time to know what you really want and investigate the options. If you are unsure about grad school be cautious because it is about specialization and is extremely challenging and competitive. Therefore you must LOVE what you are doing. 

Software success for Anna

Name: Anna Golikova
Course: MSc Internet and Distributed Systems Graduated: 2010
Nationality: Russian
Employer: OpenBet, London
Current position: Software Developer

I am from the small Russian city of Ulyanovsk on the river Volga where I read for a BSc in Information Systems and Technologies at the Ulyanovsk State Technical University. I planned to study for a master’s degree in the UK. There were many available but Durham University School of Engineering and Computer Sciences had better reviews, a partnership history with my university in Russia and, moreover, offered an opportunity to apply for a full-funding scholarship, which is a rare privilege, especially for an overseas student like me. Even though I was not awarded that funding in the end, I am absolutely sure I made the right decision! The course was just how I expected it to be – not just “how to program” but also “why to do so”. Although the academic side of the Durham University experience was great, really the best thing was its community. Before going to Durham I had never met so many like-minded intelligent people from such a variety of backgrounds.

As well as study I also enjoyed many extracurricular activities offered by different societies and colleges. I was attending English language classes, which were extremely helpful, and, as a member of Trevelyan College, I was always welcome to formal dinners, musical performances and other social activities organised by the college common rooms.

While still at Durham I applied successfully for the post of Software Developer for OpenBet Technologies, a software provider for the betting and online gaming industry. I met OpenBet representatives at the Science, Engineering and IT Fair organised by the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre. They answered all of my questions, were interesting and knowledgeable, and simply fun to talk to! I immediately researched the company and its portfolio looked great! I thought it was an excellent opportunity to enter the industry by joining a world-leading company and work together with highly professional and very intelligent people.

The selection process was very straight-forward. I forwarded my CV and about a month later I had my phone interview, during which I was asked mostly technical questions. A few weeks later I was invited to London for my interview, during which I was asked to solve a number of technical problems, and also had an opportunity to speak with representatives from human resources. The interview lasted about 2 hours in total, and I was offered the job on the same day.

As a developer I work closely with solution architects and testers in order to produce a robust code that meets all requirements. Our company provides large scale betting websites, resulting in huge systems that incorporate different modules, protocols, languages and common practises. This requires our code to be compliant with existing standards and delivered according to a project plan.

Online betting is a growing and constantly changing industry which requires solutions to be scalable, extendable and portable. To achieve this I work closely with the customers to extract the necessary requirements of a project and determine the best designs.

Durham University gave me the necessary knowledge base that is essential in my profession. No doubt, the technical skills are the most important part but this alone would not have been enough for me. I regularly need to communicate with the customer, structure arguments, analyse the requirements of a problem and find the optimal solutions. There is a lot of pressure in my job, and I have to be able to cope with this when necessary and feel confident while doing so. I think that studying in Durham University prepared me very well for this.

My advice to current students would be to know your goals and work hard! Don’t think “It’s not for me! I can’t do that, it won’t work out”. Try to think “Let me try it first and see how far I can get”.

Researchgate – professional network for researchers

If you are interested in a career in research you should check out Researchgate. This online network has over 1.5 million members and is free to use. You will find details of job opportunities from entry level to managerial appointments and everything in between, together with PhD studentships and post-doctoral research fellowships. It’s really easy to use and the jobs are helpfully divided by discipline, country and type of position. You can search for specific opportunities by visiting the jobs page and clicking on ‘show advanced filters’, then select the appropriate options. Each vacancy ad provides application details or a direct link to the ad on the institution’s or organisation’s site.

Researchgate also features a search facility for research publications, a directory of registered researchers, and details of upcoming conferences. You can even create your own online profile to network with other researchers.

Don’t hesitate to visit this extremely useful resource.

Ruslan Turarov – Bolashak scholar

Name: Ruslan Turarov

Course: MSc International Money, Finance and Investment

Graduated: 2011

Nationality: Kazakhstani

Employer: Vneshtorgbank (VTB Kazakhstan)

Current position: Risk Management Analyst

I came to study in Durham from Almaty, Kazakhstan. I was one of the Bolashak scholarship students who had a unique chance to be a postgraduate student at one of the top and old universities in the UK, Durham University in the 2010/2011 season.

The unique Bolashak scholarship programme which was initiated by the president of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, 10 years ago, aims to send prospective Kazakhstani citizens to study abroad in top universities all over the world. The uniqueness of the Bolashak scholarship is that every citizen of Kazakhstan is eligible to apply and it covers all expenses during the whole period of your education. The only obligation is that you return to Kazakhstan after completing your course and work in the country for 5 years for any company or organisation.

I found the MSc in International Money, Finance and Investment at Durham Business School to be perfect  for my future career plans.  Other motivations were that the length of the programme was 50 weeks and also living in the beautiful city of Durham which is famous for its landscapes and people. These facts complemented my choice of the university, which I believe contributed to my motivation to study hard in the perfect learning environment.

The programme gives students an insight into the theory of finance and economics. Moreover, the technical modules such as econometrics, financial modelling and business forecasting provide the tools and methodology to work with financial data and formalize the resulting knowledge.

One of the first noticeable results of my studies was a new understanding in what is written in the newspapers such as Financial Times and Wall Street journal, which are free of charge in Durham Business School. In a more general way, the knowledge developed provided a clearer understanding of the financial processes occurring around the world and an insight into different perspectives and trends. The university provides outstanding study facilities to the students, where they can have group meetings and excel academically.

Another remarkable part of the Durham experience was the student life where everyone could find activities which meet their interests. For example, I was involved in basketball and judo. Many activities are organised by volunteers and Durham Student Union, which made the stay in Durham more interesting. All Durham students join a college where they often live and socialise. I was part of the Middle Common Room in Van Mildert College, where we had movie nights on Mondays, trips to different places around Durham and formal dinners. Ustinov College was very popular among postgraduate international students and I made many friends from there also.

Currently I am part of the Moscow based global financial institution, Vneshtorgbank (VTB Kazakhstan), which offered me a job in risk management after I returned. The Durham experience helped me to learn more about the world of finance (theory and application), structured my knowledge and helped me to make new friends from around the world. These outcomes will be invaluable for my current and future career success.

My advice for current students is to work hard and don’t miss all the opportunities provided by Durham University. These include opportunities for self development, meetings with illustrious speakers and attendance at the informative research seminars. Also use the Careers Employability and Enterprise Centre to plan your future from the very beginning.