Pippa Nisbet

Politics and International Relations BA

Why did you choose to study at Loughborough University?

Loughborough sold itself to me through its amazing campus, endless sporting opportunities and the outstanding levels of student satisfaction. I wanted a university that was close to home but also felt like home, and Loughborough did just that for me.

What is the best thing about your course?

I love how you can go into a lecture with one view and come out with a thousand others. Every lecture is different and forces you to see things from several perspectives, allowing us as students to understand both the world around us and ourselves in a different light.

What do you think of the teaching quality and facilities?

During my first year, COVID-19 had an obvious impact on the way the course was taught. However, the departments excellently devised online teaching programme meant that learning was still delivered to its best standard despite the difficult circumstances. I am looking forward to exploring the facilities more in my coming years now that I can do so safely, as I know many precautions have been taken to make students feel as safe as possible when going back to normal post-COVID.

Tell us about a favourite project/module on your course?

My favourite module that I have done so far was called ‘Conceptions of Democracy’. When I first saw this on my timetable, I was intrigued to find out what it would entail. I found out that it explored the routes of modern democracy and the foundations on which the concept of democracy lies, which did scare me a bit as I had never studied anything like this before! However, as the module went on, I found it really interesting researching and critiquing democracies like Athens and comparing them to what constitutes democracy today.

What kind of support have you had from your department and/or from the University?

The department helped me immensely from the start of my university journey. Originally, I was studying a different degree which wasn’t what I had envisioned it to be, so looked at swapping to Politics and IR, having studied A Level Politics. As soon as I emailed the department expressing my interest in changing degrees, I felt comfortable with my choice and my anxieties about falling behind disappeared. I am so glad I had the opportunity to do this and feel my university experience was made by this smooth change of course.

Have you completed/will you complete a placement year whilst at University?

My course includes the opportunity to complete a placement year in year 3, and I look forward to taking part in this. I will explore my options throughout year 2 with the help of the careers department.

What do you hope to do when you graduate, and how will your Loughborough degree support this?

I am still exploring all my options and therefore am not completely sure what my future holds, however I know I want to look at graduate schemes in the civil service as soon as I can. I feel confident that the knowledge I have acclaimed from studying at Loughborough thus far will support me in whatever career path I end up taking.

What would you say to someone considering your course?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and voice your opinions. A degree in Politics and IR relies on being confident enough to speak up! As someone who can be quite shy, I was worried about this at the start of the year, however quickly discovered that stepping out your comfort zones is exactly what university is all about.

How do you find the social atmosphere on campus?

Even though socialisation was tough during COVID-19, the campus has always felt like a massive community to me. The friendly atmosphere is deep-rooted in campus life which makes you feel at home very quickly.

What is your favourite thing about being a Loughborough University student?

My favourite thing about being a Loughborough student is the number of opportunities that present themselves to you. Whether it be academic or extracurricular, you will always find something that sparks your interest. For example, I am excited to be the Welfare and Diversity Student Involvement Officer for the POLIS department this coming academic year, as well as the Recreational Rep for Loughborough Student Equestrian Club!

How has Loughborough inspired you?

Loughborough has inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and explore new things about myself. Previously to enrolling at Loughborough, I would often find myself shying away from things or overthinking. Although this is a hard habit to get rid of, I can proudly say that I have been pushed to my limits in the best way possible, gaining confidence I never knew I could have.