Why did you choose to study at POLIS and at Leeds?
I was already living and working in Leeds. The POLIS courses came highly recommended from peers and friends at both Leeds University and Leeds Met. Attending an open day made me aware of the great teaching staff in POLIS and the impressive university facilities (especially the Library and Student Union).
How did the course match your expectations?
It met all my expectations really. It was fun, topical and contemporary, academically rigorous and well resourced in terms of access to tutors, books etc.
What did you most enjoy about your course?
Meeting some very intelligent and interesting students, and having some challenging discussions with them in seminars. I also really enjoyed going to see the many guest speakers which come regularly to the University – the weekly POLIS bulletin was a great way to fill one’s diary!
What would you say about the facilities in the School and at the University in general?
The best thing about the whole university is undoubtedly the library. It is huge! and has lots of the old academic 'classics' as well as stocking plenty of new journals both in print and electronically. I also found plenty of decent fiction books to relax with after a day’s study.
What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to the MA Democratic Studies course?
Go for it. If you have an interest in democracy, its historical evolution as well the contemporary dilemmas associated with 'spreading' or 'encouraging' democracy in the wider world, this course is ideal. The other modules on offer are also very wide-ranging and interesting, from international relations in the middle east to environmental politics, there’s plenty on offer.
What did you like about Leeds?
I first came to Leeds nine years ago to start my undergrad course. I'm still here now so it must be good! I suppose Leeds is small enough to have a sense of identity and community yet large enough to cater for most people's tastes. I found it very easy to get involved in my new home town – from putting on gigs, community events and political meetings, people in Leeds seem to be, in general, very welcoming, approachable and enthusiastic.
How has your course helped your career?
I am now lucky enough to be lecturing in Politics and Sociology at Leeds Met University. My MA course at POLIS not only increased my knowledge but has (I hope!) fed into my skills as a public speaker and a facilitator to students' learning.
Tell us about your role at Leeds Met as a lecturer – what are your day to day responsibilities?
I am usually either giving seminars or lectures, or preparing for ones which are coming up. There are always emails to sift through, students requiring advice or help, and the dreaded marking always reappears when you’ve just forgotten about the last batch!
What is your favourite aspect of academic life?
Having the opportunity to learn about interesting ideas, people, movements or events. Academic life is great in the sense that you are expected to be actively learning all the time. For me, perpetual learning should be part of all our lives, but there are very few jobs which actually encourage it.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Playing and writing music with friends.