James McGuirk

Nord University
Bodø, Norway
Science, research and development
Bachelor of Arts (1996)
MA - Philosophy (1997)

Maynooth was formative for me both as a student and as an employee. As a student, I learned the discipline of Philosophy along with its attendant skills (critical thinking, text reading, debate and discussions skills). As an employee, the most important lesson was the crucial role of collegiality for a successful place of work.

I completed my Bachelors degree at Maynooth in 1996, before enrolling in the first taught Master’s in Philosophy, which I completed in 1997. On the advice of the then Head of Department, I continued my studies at the doctoral level at the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven in Belgium, where I completed my doctoral degree in 2004. During the preparation of my PhD, I returned to the Philosophy Department at Maynooth as a member of staff between 2001-03. I taught Philosophy at the University of Stavanger from 2005-2006 and was also employed at Maynooth again in 2006. I was appointed Associate Professor of Philosophy at Nord University in 2007 and was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2011. I have been a visiting professor at Södertörn University college in Stockholm and at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

I am Professor of Philosophy at the Centre for Practical Knowledge at Nord University. The Centre is an interdisciplinary research unit that combines resources from Philosophy and the Humanities, with Social and Natural Science in researching the nature and development of practical knowledge and professional practice. My work includes teaching and the supervision of research projects.

The University sector has undergone major changes in recent years with regard to the management of its educational practice and the funding of research. Not all of these changes have been for the better. Nevertheless, the basics of the job remain relatively unchanged. The most rewarding parts of the job are working with students in their pursuit of knowledge and independent thinking and with colleagues in the development and execution of research projects.

I was recruited by the Dean of the Faculty of Professional Studies

The most important advice is to start planning for life after University as soon as possible. Look for job placements and take care to establish connections in your chosen industry before you finish your degree. If your chosen industry is academia, join networks such as Researchgate or Academia to get your work known. But make sure to also consider the many possibilities for employment outside the university, since the latter is no longer the primary place of employment for qualified researchers.