Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Oscar Cooper

Joint Honours |

Photo of Oscar Cooper

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I come from Portsmouth. I love to Ski and SCUBA dive, and I have a passion for drumming! For my A-Levels I studied Economics, Maths and History, but even in my last year I was unsure what I wanted to do.  I took a year out after school and did and Internship with Airbus Defence and Space for 6 months, and I applied for university during my gap year. I love to travel, try new things and experiences whenever I can! Last year I was the President at James Baillie Halls where I lived for the year, and this year I'm working as a Student Brand Manager for Red Bull.

What motivated you to apply to study your chosen course and why did you choose Leeds?

I was never sure what I wanted to do during my last two years of school, so I decided to delay my application for when I was on my gap year to give me some more time. At school I found Economics really engaging, I have always been interested in why people make the decisions they do. What I found interesting about Politics was how the two interacted together, as any political decision usually has an economic consequence. I wanted to look into these two disciplines, and try to understand their relationship more. I chose Leeds because I always knew I wanted to go to a big northern university where there were thousands of students and always something going on! I wanted to do a year abroad, and the initiative at Leeds where anyone can apply to do a year abroad was a big pull for me.

What do you think of your course? Have there been any particular highlights for you?

I think my course is great. I'm enjoying the balance between the Economics and Politics, as during my second year I have more scope in choosing modules that suit my tastes. I feel in a general sense that I am more aware of the complex issues that Governments face, and having more knowledge around the two subjects means I feel much more able to understand current affairs and big decisions that effect us all. Some of the course has been challenging, partly because the content is difficult but also because it does not align as much to my interests, but looking back I have really enjoyed learning about things that I may otherwise not have been exposed to over my course so far.

How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff within the School?

The support in the school is really good, and access to this support is even easier. Module leaders and TA’s run office hours once a week which anyone can go to for help or advice. Or if you need further help you can always email and arrange a 1:1, something I have never found the staff to say no to. I also have an Academic Tutor, someone who does not necessarily teach me, but who is a part of the School. I have found my Tutor to be really supportive in my direction at university and if I have any problems I would never hesitate to contact them. We discuss my future plans and how I am able to achieve them.

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

As a second year I have planned to go on a year abroad next year! As I haven’t actually done it yet I cant tell you how it has gone, however the process so far has been really great. I had to get a 2:1 in my first year to apply, then I applied to the programme through the Business School and next year I will be studying in Hong Kong!

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

University has so much to offer so I was keen to get involved with some societies and other activities. Last year I was the president of my Halls (James Baillie Park) which involved organising big events for the students at my halls such as the Christmas Ball and summer party. I have also been a member of the Snowriders Society as I am a passionate skier! This year I am working for Red Bull as the Leeds University Student Brand Manager, where I am working with societies integrating the brand into University life.

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