Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Ashley Connick

BA European Parliamentary Studies | 2006 - 2009

Photo of Ashley Connick

I wanted to come to Leeds because I love the city. From the second I arrived I felt at home here. My course appealed to me because it allows me the freedom to do modules from anywhere, allows me to focus on the aspects of politics that interest me (i.e. European politics), and offered me the opportunity to go abroad for a semester rather than an entire year which suited my plans.

I had heard great things about Leeds and POLIS from friends in the year above me at school. Leeds' reputation precedes it and POLIS came highly recommended by teachers and university guides as well. I never wanted to be anywhere else!

I have thoroughly enjoyed my course – I expected it to stretch me, to increase my understanding of how the political world works, and to enjoy learning about politics in general. It has certainly lived up to all of these! I've also made great friends here and grown up a lot.

I've enjoyed the fact that I have been able to learn about so many areas of politics. There's been a good mix of theoretical and practical subjects to learn about. I especially enjoyed the Spin Doctors and Electioneering module I took. Politics at Leeds is excellent, at least on a par with anything in the country. I think that anyone who chooses to come here will be making a very wise decision!!

The university's facilities are good - and improving all the time. I can't think of a time that I’ve wanted to do something and it hasn't been available to me, which is all you can ask for!

I am a POLIS Student Ambassador and I really enjoy giving tours of the campus and meeting prospective students. I remember how I felt on my open day, so it was interesting being on the other side – especially as I was giving the talks with Dr Nick Robinson, who was the first lecturer I met on my open day! The days were great fun, I met lots of people and hopefully gave useful information!

On my course I took a European Placement and I absolutely loved going abroad. I would advise anyone to take the opportunity to go somewhere. I went to KU Leuven in Belgium, where I studied, met lots of people, and learnt a lot about myself. It wasn’t all plain sailing, but once I found my feet, I never looked back. Going to Belgium is comfortably the best decision I have ever made.

My favourite POLIS lecturer is Dr Simon Lightfoot, who I had for Governing the EU in my second year. He turned what can sometimes be a very stale and lifeless topic into something very interesting, and I’ve studied modules on the EU as a direct result of his lectures.

Once I graduate I would love to be a buyer, probably for either a retailer or a manufacturer. It's a really interesting career path, and it ticks all the boxes for me in terms of what I want out of a career. Getting a job is the first major hurdle; beyond that, I have no idea. I just want to take each bit as it comes. Ideally, I'd like to carve out a career in buying for many years to come. Fingers crossed…

My spare time revolves around two things – my friends, and cricket. And uni work of course!

I have loved every moment of my time at Leeds. The friends I've made will, I'm sure, last me a lifetime and the things I've learnt both in and out of the lecture theatres will stand me in very good stead. The three years at Leeds have flown by, and I'll be leaving with mixed feelings – sad to go, but well prepared and excited for whatever life throws at me.

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