Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I am 20 years old and from Buckinghamshire. Initially I was a Liberal Democrat but have since become a Conservative and am now passionately involved in politics. My hobbies include football and cats and my current career goal is to become a coroner.
What motivated you to apply to study your chosen course and why did you choose Leeds?
I became interested in politics during the 2010 election campaign and it has been a huge part of my life ever since. I was motivated to study politics at university because I really enjoyed my A Level in it. I found studying it very interesting and engaging because politics has so much effect on almost every aspect of daily life. I wanted to learn how this country was shaped and understand the reasons for different voting patterns throughout the years.
I chose Leeds to study because it is very different from my hometown. It is a big, vibrant city with a whole host of people from varying backgrounds. Leeds has given me an insight into so many different walks of life and has opened up a number of opportunities to me. The city itself is fantastic and the university has a great reputation; in my experience all of the tutors and professors have been fervent and a true expert on what they teach.
What do you think of your course? Have there been any particular highlights for you?
I have enjoyed my course particularly because of the range of modules available to me. I like that we have such a free range to choose to study what interests us individually. For example, I am interested in post-war British politics and have managed to do many modules based on this, yet have also done some very different modules on Terrorism and the Politics of Video Games!
How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff within the School?
I have found the help and guidance always there when I need it. Even when I email tutors out of working hours I tend to get a response the same evening, and I find office hours very useful for going over my work in depth so as to get the best grade that I can. I have found three tutors (Tim Heppell, Stuart McAnulla and Nick Robinson) particularly helpful and motivating which is reflected in my grades.
How would you describe the facilities at the University?
Very good, especially now that the renovated social sciences building has been opened. There is always a computer spare somewhere in the university and even when I come across a most obscure academic website, I still have access due to my institution, and therefore I have huge access to materials when writing essays or simply out of interest.
There are four libraries and lots of other silent study areas. The union has a huge choice of food and restaurants, a well-stocked supermarket and most importantly a fantastic (and cheap) club night at Fruity!!!
Support is always there when it is needed too, for example only today I spoke to the communities officer as I was concerned about the university’s approach to the EU Referendum – and he assured me that although the official position will be to campaign to stay in the EU, he will ensure that there is as much of a platform for other views to be given.
When I have had health concerns these have been dealt with very well by staff so that my grades did not suffer and so that I was back and healthy as soon as possible.
Have you been involved in extra-curricular activities, such as societies, summer placements etc?
I am currently the secretary of the Conservative society at Leeds. I have really, really enjoyed my time as a member and committee member of this society and I am going to miss it very much when I leave.
The society has opened so many doors to me; I spent a lot of time campaigning for the 2015 election and because of this, I attended the vote count and got to witness many MPs losing and winning their seats – a really fantastic experience. Through the society I have met many MPs and had question and answer sessions with them, and even met Boris Johnson and David Cameron!
I also joined the Sign Language society and know it to a beginners level – but the opportunity to take it further and get a qualification is readily available.