Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
My name’s Aaron, I come from Cambridge and study Politics Parliamentary Studies at Leeds. I’m Jewish, took a gap year after sixth form (which I would thoroughly recommend) and, as the eldest, was the first in my family to make it to University. I remember how daunting it was trying to make the ‘right’ decision, so I hope this will be useful for you as you make your decision too!
What motivated you to apply to study your chosen course and why did you choose Leeds?
PPS appealed to me right from the beginning. The opportunities it offers students through its third year programme in Washington, Ottowa and Westminster are second-to-none. The fact that the course was based in Leeds made it all the more appealing. Leeds Uni represents the best of both city and campus life – you can be as integrated into either as you want. There is an endless amount going on across campus and the city is perfect for (and full of) students.
What do you think of your course? Have there been any particular highlights for you?
I’ve really enjoyed my course. Socially, the year groups are quite small for PPS students so you become quite close with your course mates, particularly those who you travel to Westminster or Washington with. My placement year was undoubtedly my highlight and was one of the most valuable, insightful and enjoyable experiences of my time at Leeds.
How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff within the School?
Staff are always on hand to help – there’s never a shortage of people to turn to. Each school has its own undergraduate support team, every student has their own personal tutor, and seminar tutors are available in office hours for advice on essays and exams. As with anything in life you need to be proactive to make the most of these opportunities, but they are there for you should you need them.
How would you describe the facilities at the University?
The facilities at Leeds are outstanding. In your first year students get free membership of ‘The Edge’ gym, which was used by various national Olympic squads in the build-up to 2012. If you’re more into the Arts, the Stage complex in the middle of campus is used for various courses, workshops and student-lead productions throughout the year. There are at least three major libraries to work in so you can pick whatever one works best for you.
Have you had the opportunity to study abroad, or complete a year in industry? If so, please tell us about your experience.
My year in industry was a key part of what attracted me to PPS. Every student has the opportunity to work for either a full year in Parliament or a split year between Parliament and the American or Canadian Congress. I worked for a year in the House of Commons for two senior frontbenchers, and had an incredible time. I made great friends, got to grips with the real nature of political life and secured a job for next year – I can’t recommend it enough.
Have you been involved in extra-curricular activities, such as societies, summer placements etc?
I was heavily involved in Labour students and Leeds Jsoc and made great friends in both. Societies are a great way to meet new people so I would really suggest joining as many as you can!
Any other comments you would like to make?
Only that Leeds has been a wonderful university for me and I’m sure that if you chose to come here you would have a great time!