Why did you choose Loughborough University?
The module choices at this University are very topical and the minor options were a lot more varied than any other university I looked at. Overall I felt Loughborough would open up the most opportunities both with my degree and extracurricular activities.
This University is extremely friendly and has a strong feel of community. For me personally I did not want to be at a university that I didn’t feel part of and as soon as I visited here I knew that wouldn’t be the case. The department is a perfect size; it is big enough that we have a wide range of knowledge and research, but small enough that lecturers can get to know their students throughout your degree.
What do you enjoy about your course?
I genuinely enjoy being taught my degree. The department are keen to make lectures as interactive as possible and all of them are engaging. There are a few modules that really stood out for me. When I was in my first year every first year in the department was enrolled on a module called Modern Europe, which took us through the history of Europe since the Enlightenment. This module was somewhat daunting for someone like me who came to the department to study politics and didn’t even take history at GCSE level, however I found it extremely useful and find myself coming back to the textbook we used time and time again, and it made sure all students were at the same basic level.
Comparative European Politics was a very relevant module, comparing the political systems in place in Europe, using contemporary issues to debate in seminars, such as the rise of Euroscepticism. This year I am taking a module on Yugoslavia, an area I knew very little about before starting and I am finding it incredibly interesting to learn about such a unique political system.
What do you think of the teaching quality and facilities?
The teaching quality is exceptional and the lecturers are particularly friendly.
Have you had any support from the University?
The department and University are both extremely supportive, both with studies and personal issues. The department has a personal tutor system, and in the first semester of first year you have a module called Introduction to Academic Studies taught by your personal tutor and with your tutor group to get to know them. This helps because they are small groups it makes it easy to interact with people on your course and the module helps with things such as how to set out an essay at degree level and tackles how to reference correctly.
Attached to these tutor groups is also a peer mentoring system. You meet your peer mentor on your first day and they are there to help with any issue and help you settle into university life, they are available to contact throughout the whole of your first year. There is also a programme rep system where one student from each year of each course represents the students within the department. They not only provide academic support to other students, but they take any feedback to lecturers, providing a formal method of communication.
What are some exciting things you can do as part of your course?
Our department has various exciting opportunities, such as a year abroad, either studying or on a placement, a semester abroad or a placement year in industry. There are so many ways to make your degree stand out and differ from others on your course. Our department are keen to make sure every student has an opportunity to learn a language should they want to, either as part of their studies or as an extracurricular activity.
In my second year I went on a trip to Brussels with the department, visiting the European Parliament, the Commission and talking to some very influential people, it was a brilliant opportunity. I personally decided not to do a year out of studies and instead chose to enhance my degree by other means, becoming the news editor of the University magazine in my second year, a programme rep for my first two years of study and the programme president in my final year.
What do you hope to do when you graduate?
I hope to work in the civil service though I am not entirely certain of a plan post University. I chose this degree at this University because I enjoy learning about politics, and enjoying the subject is very important if you want to get the most out of your degree. However, looking at and applying to various graduate schemes, I am finding that there is a huge range of job opportunities for people graduating in this department.
What would you say to someone considering your course?
I would encourage anyone thinking about doing any degree in this department to apply. One piece of advice I would also give to anyone considering this University is that if you have never had any experience playing sport then don’t worry. I didn’t play any sport when I started and I was worried that I wouldn’t fit in. I haven’t joined any teams whilst I’ve been here, but I have still had some opportunity to get involved as there are inter-departmental sports and opportunities for people at all levels.
What do you enjoy about being a student here?
The thing I love most about Loughborough University is the opportunities it has presented to me. The social atmosphere here at Loughborough is incredible, with a society for everyone. There are various societies that complement degrees in this department such as Model United Nations, Think Tank Society and Debating Society which I regularly go to and enjoy. There are so many different ways to socialise and meet people; halls, departments, societies and volunteering to name but a few. You are guaranteed to find some way to socialise here; I chose the department as my main focus at University and have found the social events to be great.
Has Loughborough inspired you?
Loughborough University has definitely inspired me, I have done things that I could never have imagined myself doing three years ago. I have raised money for charity by being dropped off 100 miles away with a group of people and having to get home without spending money; I have volunteered helping primary school children with maths; and this year by being programme president I helped organise and present the first year induction for the department.