Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Emily Spurrell

BA Politics and Parlimentary Studies | 2006 - 2010

Photo of Emily Spurrell

About me

I am originally from South Manchester, where my parents raised me with my brother and sister. I have always been very engaged in politics, citizenship and working with the local community.

Why I chose Politics and Parlimentary Studies at Leeds

When I was 16, I became a member of the UK Youth Parliament and thoroughly enjoyed working with local stakeholders to improve things in my area. I became interested in local and national government and decided to pursue a degree in politics. I was particularly interested in the PPS course at Leeds at it had a built in year spent working in US Congress and Westminster. I was very keen to be able to experience things first hand and it sounded like an amazing opportunity. I knew Leeds was a great city and it had a very good reputation for teaching.

My course

I really enjoyed my course. I was able to study a wide range of modules from across the department, which was good for developing my knowledge. There was not as much contact time so there was a lot of time for independent study. As I have already mentioned, it was the year working in US Congress and Westminster that I loved the most. It was so exciting to see Obama elected and see the inner workings of Parliament.

My experience

I loved my time at Leeds and would happily do it all over again! My programme was small which was nice because I got to know the staff and students really well. The year spent working in Washington and London was a great opportunity and I learnt so much from being able to see things as they happened. I also particularly enjoyed getting involved in the Students’ Union as it enabled me to pursue my activism in other ways and made lots of good friends.

Learning facilities and school support

I spent a lot of time at the Students’ Union which was a good place to meet friends, hang out and work with societies. There was also a good advice centre which I used for housing advice in second year. I must confess to only really investigating the library in my final year but there was sufficient support available there and resources when I needed them.

The school staff were brilliant- they were very supportive in giving extra advice during exam time and were always friendly and helpful. The tutors were also particularly helpful. When I was struggling with my references I got a lot of support to develop my skills.

Leeds as a city

Leeds is a good city if you like lots of people and lots of things to do. It has a particularly good nightlife and lots of shops. It has good links to other cities as well and we often travelled to York and places for days out.

Since graduation: my current role

My time at Leeds gave me the confidence and knowledge to get more involved in my local community, which is what promoted me to stand to be a Councillor. My programme allowed me to make friends and contacts in a range of places and my involvement in the Union is what inspired me to go out and work at Liverpool Guild of Students to ensure other students have a great a time as I did.

I am currently working at Liverpool Guild of Students and am keen to stay involved in the student’s union sector to support students in their University experience. I am also enjoying being a local councillor and working to support residents and look forward to becoming more involved in local government.

My advice to prospective and current students

Start getting work experience and extra curricular experience early, don’t wait until the final year as there is too much going on. I would also say it’s important to ask for help and advice. I was very unsure what I wanted to do with my career and discussing it with tutors helped me identify my skills and experiences

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