Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Madihah Khan

Joint Honours | 2013-16

Photo of Madihah Khan

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I'm in my third year studying Philosophy and Politics.

What motivated you to apply to study your chosen course and why did you chose Leeds?
From an early age I had a natural curiosity for how people lived and as I grew older I began to question the divisions and injustices in society. This ignited my concerns of the state of the world and how incredibly influenced it is by political situations constructed by economic objectives. I am fascinated with how philosophical principles constitute political ideologies, ultimately influencing political dynamics and economic infrastructures; which lead me to believe that these would be the right combination of subjects to study at university.

As I spent most of my youth living in a developing country where corruption was rife, I was graphically made aware of how different political, economic and social structures affected the chances and quality of people’s lives. I was curious about the philosophical significance of freedom of speech and democracy. I wanted to learn more as I witnessed the government’s baffling actions form two extremes - poverty and wealth.

I felt that the University of Leeds was an exceptional choice given that it was part of the Russell Group, making it one of the most prestigious universities in the UK. I was also drawn to the Access to Leeds admissions scheme, which considers students
from underprivileged backgrounds; making university accessible regardless of socioeconomic background.

One thing thats sets the University of Leeds apart from other reputable institutions is its vibrant and cosmopolitan location. The city is full of life with various opportunities to socialise and meet new people.

What do you think of your course? Have there been any particular highlights for you?
The most obvious skill that I have accomplished through studying here is the ability to critically assess different political and philosophical texts. At first, I would find myself agreeing with certain ideologies and not giving them further thought. I am now able to see the implications of such ideologies and also link them to other material on the course.

I feel that studying these subjects has not only broadened my knowledge but opened my mind as an individual. I have been exposed to different ways of seeing the world and I enjoy discussing varied views and opinions informally with people. The beauty of these subjects is that there is no ‘right’ answer, inspiring an intellectual curiosity towards topical issues that I may have not otherwise come across. Both subjects promote higher order thinking which is a skill that employers are looking for.

How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff within the School?
I never imagined to receive the amount of assistance and attention that the staff have given me. Students are constantly being reminded of the resources available and staff efforts to help in learning. All members of staff that I have met are friendly and give you a genuine sense of care for your wellbeing at university. Certain modules that I have studied have been taught with exceptional learning resources, without which I would not have understood difficult concepts so clearly. As educators, they transfer their passion upon their students, making it a thriving learning environment.

How would you describe the facilities at the University?

There are several facilities that have supported my learning at university such as, the library, IT clusters, cafes, the gym, and not to forget the student union. Most of the reading material for modules is made available through the online library; which I am indebted to. In my first year, I did not have a laptop but was able to rely on the library laptop-loan system. This helped me as I was not under pressure to buy a new laptop and was able to do my work in the meantime.

As someone who enjoys physical exercise, I have used the on campus gym throughout my time at Leeds. This has been convenient for me to work out between lectures/seminars. I also enjoy playing squash in the university’s squash quarts and attending fitness classes including spinning, zumba and yoga. These facilities have helped me maintain my well being and also take time to enjoy some hobbies. The student union is known for its abundance in social events and helping you to create new networks at university.

Have you had the opportunity to study abroad, or complete a year in industry?

I have not studied abroad or completed a year in industry. However I have always been made aware of these opportunities via email and workshops. Even though a study abroad experience was something that appealed to me at the beginning of my course, it was something I did not pursue despite the abundance of information I was provided with.

Have you been involved in extra-curricular activities, such as societies, summer placements etc?

In my second year, I joined the Snow Riders society and joined them on a ski trip to the french alps. This was my first every ski experience and something that I thank myself for taking on. It was also an opportunity for me to make new friends that
were studying a variety of courses, and learn the skill to ski.

Most weeks, I socialise with friends from the Philosophy society; where it is fun to chat and have a laugh with fellow philosophers. The Raise and Give Society is a charity organisation that develops innovative ideas to fund raise for charities worldwide. Some examples through which it raises funds is the annual fashion show, sponsored activities to destinations like Mount Everest, and several social events at the union.

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