Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Victoria Hayles

BA Politics | 2013-16

Photo of Victoria Hayles

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I’m originally from York and have lived in the countryside my entire life, so moving to a city was a very exciting concept for me. This is what originally attracted me to Leeds; because of the hustle and bustle. Leeds is the perfect city for me, because it isn’t too big and terrifying!

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

I’ve always been interested in politics from a young age, because I wanted to understand the world around me in greater detail. But I truly fell in love with politics, during the student marches, against the rising of tuition fees; the passion and the atmosphere at the marches made me realise just how much I loved politics and how much of an impact politics has on our everyday lives.

I chose Leeds because the course gave me the flexibility to study so many different subjects and bring in prior knowledge, while learning new ideas and developing an understanding of aspects of other courses. During my time at Leeds I’ve studied the challenges of Feminism, engaged with philosophers such as Rawls and learnt about and have explored and evaluated whether terrorism faces a real threat, to national and international security. Now, when I check the news, I can’t help but bring in what I have learnt at Leeds to my understanding of ‘real’ world problems.

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

A highlight for me was studying Feminist Challenges; that module in particular was so engaging, not only because of the teaching, but because we did extra-curricular activities such as a trip to the German Markets. In terms of the learning, I studied so many different perspectives within Feminism and was able to relate these not only to political context, but also to popular culture. A particular highlight was walking into a lecture and hearing Beyoncé playing.

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

The staff within POLIS are incredible. They go above and beyond, always welcoming questions and are so approachable- you never feel in a seminar as if what you have to say isn’t important, I only wish I’d figured this out sooner, because I would go back to first year and say every thought I had, but was too nervous to express.

How would you describe the facilities at the University?

The facilities are great- one thing that is so useful are the 24 hour computer clusters. I realised early on I was not incredible at working from home, so discovering the computer clusters was a life-saver for me, especially near to deadlines, as they allow me the freedom to study around my timetable and fit my research into my day, when is appropriate, rather than restricting me to certain time-schedules.

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

The POLIS society is incredible for making friends on the course. In my first year, I went on their trip to Amsterdam, not knowing anyone, and came back with life-long friends, who I now consider my closest in Leeds!

© Copyright Leeds 2016