Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Charlotte Taylor

BA Political Studies (Politics) | 2008 - 2012

Photo of Charlotte Taylor

About me
I’m originally from Bolton, and I studied A-levels in Law, Politics and English Language. After studying Politics at A-level, I enjoyed the subject and wanted to continue to study it in more detail. I was also interested in learning about the Politics of different countries which this course at Leeds offered.

My experience in POLIS
I enjoy Politics so much as it is constantly changing. It never gets tedious as each day you wake up and something new has happened.

The course has so many different modules and there is something that appeals to everyone.

The best bit of my course so far has been my work placement. I am also looking forward to the modules I have chosen to study in my final year, especially gender and development.

The VLE (virtual learning environment) is an absolute godsend for lecture slides and online resources. I definitely would not manage without it. The university has fantastic learning facilities; there are so many places to study, and plenty of computer rooms.

Outside of study
Leeds is a fantastic student city. It has such a good vibe and is completely student run. I couldn’t imagine my experience at uni anywhere else.

There are so many societies to join and activities to do. I joined DanceSport in my second year which was great, and will join another dance society in my fourth year. I am also going to join HOMED- a society which allows students to volunteer with homeless people. There is also a gym on campus.

Outside of study, I work part time as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities and also run and do fitness classes.

My work placement
When I was in my second year I did not feel ready to graduate in a year’s time, and I also didn’t feel as though I was mature or experienced enough to take on a dissertation. I felt doing a work placement would give me some life experience and expand my skills. It also meant I would be more employable when I did graduate.

My placement is at Safer Leeds; a crime reduction partnership between Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police.

I did an evaluation project of local policy in Leeds. I evaluated the ‘Safer Schools Project’ (a project where high schools have a Police Officer based in their school) in order to see whether the thousands of pounds of funding being put into the project was having an impact across the city.

I then produced a report which was distributed to officials across the city. The findings in the report influenced the changing of local policy around the project. I also assisted to run a project called ‘Best Bar None’, where I assessed bars, pubs and clubs across the city to ensure they had the correct policies and procedures in place.

Due to my placement being research based each day was completely different. I spent a lot of time researching in high schools with Police Officers, and also assessing bars, pubs and clubs around the city.
 
In terms of what I am learning, I would say that being able to putting everything I have learnt since A-level into practise. I have also developed so many new skills and built on my confidence.

My future
Having carried out such a large research project, this has showed me how hard I have to work on my dissertation and how much time and effort needs to go into research.
 
I now have three fantastic references which will stand me in great stead when I am applying for jobs. I also have a year of life experience in the real world, and have been given an opportunity which most students will not get. It has also allowed me to build up a contact base.
 
I’d definitely recommend doing a placement to other students; it opens so many doors and allows you to meet contacts for the future.

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