Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Samuel Barratt

MA Politics (Parliamentary) | 2010 - 2011

About me
I am currently working as Parliamentary Researcher to the Rt Hon Baroness Shirley Williams of Crosby.

My motivation to study Politics
I had completed my undergraduate degree at Leeds College of Music, and decided that I wished to pursue a career in politics. I had been involved with my political party previously, but I really wanted to study it.

My experience
The course was fantastic. I found the academic side interesting and relevant and the practical experience invaluable when applying for jobs.  It gave me real life experiences to compliment my studies.

Personally I also loved the seminars, particularly reading texts throughout the week and then spending a couple of hours arguing with lecturers and students alike…it was immensely rewarding.

The staff were all really supportive, though not intrusively so. If you wanted support it was there to be had, but staff didn’t stifle creativity or try and make you conform to one way of doing things.

The people I met on this course came from a range of backgrounds and political views. It was a real privilege to meet, debate and socialise with them. We learnt a lot from each other, but most importantly made a lot of new friends.

City life
I lived in Leeds for four years, and it truly became a second home. There is such a vibrant, diverse range of people, cultures and activities that there really is something for everyone. Having studied at Leeds College of Music I was heavily involved in some parts of the music scene, which in some cases rivals cities as big as London.

In terms of politics, there are regular talks, events and campaigns, not all party political- which highlight important current issues, some of which you may not even have thought of until you see the flyer come through your door.

In short - I love Leeds, and it was with some regret that I moved away to begin my career.

Since graduation
The opportunity to work in the Westminster Office of an MP allowed me to gain real experience which has helped my application stand out when applying for jobs.

It was also a fantastic resource for stimulating ideas for my final dissertation. The first semester was a wonderful opportunity to debate with other students on aspects of political theory, as well as more ‘straight ahead’ political issues.

Personally I think that if you looked at the course and think it might be for you then apply. I came from a totally different undergraduate programme but with some hard work and staff who are a supportive and dedicated as those in POLIS you will be able to do very well.

The course was challenging and engaging. It constantly challenged ideas, and sometimes changed them.

I hate to end on a cliché, but you will get out what you put in. The course can present some amazing opportunities, but you have to be prepared to take them, and often put in a lot of work to do so!

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