Politics and International Studies

Undergraduate study

Bernice Bruce-Vanderpuije

Year of Study: Final
Qualification(s): BA (Hons)
Course: International Relations

Why did you choose Loughborough University?

I had quite an interest in events that occurred around the world and I wanted a course that wouldn’t only focus on the theoretical aspects of these events, which is what Loughborough offered. The assessment style is also a mixture of coursework and examinations ensuring I could spread my workload evenly and the University has a range of extracurricular activities to get involved with such as sports, societies and being a representative of your department.

The opportunity to study other subjects alongside my core degree interested me as well as I wasn’t entirely sure on the career I wanted to follow after graduating. I have been able to study other subjects such as French, Sociology and Criminology over the three years, giving me the flexibility in searching for a career as I have gained a variety of knowledge and skills.

What do you enjoy about your course?

We are taught a range of topic areas in which we are given a chance to focus on certain topics of interest in our final year modules and dissertation. This allows us to find and pursue areas that we are interested in while also tailoring our knowledge to career areas we are interested in.

The Foreign Policy Analysis module I took in second year was my favourite as it critically analysed the decision making processes presidents and leaders have taken over the years and how the analysis of those decisions can be used to predict what other leaders would do in similar situations. It was interesting to see how the application of certain decision making models over the decades has and will continue to influence society.

What do you think of the teaching quality and facilities?

The teaching quality is of a high standard as all the lecturers are experts in the field they teach and most often have written academic sources relating to the field. Each module is well organised and thoroughly planned. The varying teaching resources used ensure we are kept interested throughout the semesters.

Have you had any support from the University?

My personal tutor has always been on hand to help me with any queries I may have, whether it be regarding my academics or personal issues. Lecturers are also very willing to help you with any queries you have regarding their modules.

What do you like that’s different about your course?

You can do a year abroad in which you study in a different language, study in English or you can teach younger kids English in another European country (providing you have the required standard of the foreign language). You can also take a placement year and work in a field that you are interested in (providing you meet the requirements). Academic trips are also organised, for example the opportunity to go to Brussels and gain an insight into the running of the European Union.

What do you hope to do when you graduate?

Combining the skills and knowledge I have acquired from the various modules I have studied I hope to pursue a career in the political sector involving research in many different policy areas.

What would you say to someone considering your course?

If you’re interested in being given a variety of topic areas using analytical skills to study over the course of your degree and enjoy participating in a range of social activities then Loughborough truly is the place for you; especially if you want the freedom to study other subjects as minor modules.

How do you find the social atmosphere on campus?

There is always something for you to do no matter the time or the day. Loughborough University offers a vast range of opportunities for students to partake in which has always kept me busy in my spare time.

There is a great social atmosphere and a range of activities that Loughborough offers. During the day the Students’ Union and other restaurants are a great place to catch up with your friends over a coffee or a meal. At night the union transforms into a big club with three rooms offering a different genre of music in each room. There are numerous social and sporting societies to join, leaving you spoilt for choice. These are also a good way to pursue personal interests and make many more friends.

Has Loughborough inspired you?

By seeing many different posters around the University of graduates who have achieved different things has inspired me to try and reach my full potential and leave my stamp on the world whether it be on a small or large scale. The range in extra-curricular activities to partake in has also inspired me to always try to help others as it is greatly rewarding.