Séamus is currently a third year student studying a joint honours degree in BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics in the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science.
Why did you choose your degree?
I loved Sixth Form, especially studying a range of subjects which overlapped, so I knew that Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) would be a fascinating, varied and demanding course to take. It has a high workload, but it is manageable, crucially meaning that you can be confident in three connected fields of knowledge that you can take anywhere.
What is a joint honours degree?
A Joint honours degree is where you can study subjects from a real mix of faculties; such as a language with a science or two humanities together. My degree is a special case as it has it’s own reputation and infrastructure, but there are many similar paths that are popular. Choosing this type of classification means you don’t have to limit your options and can sell yourself with more skills to employers. A joint honours degree is particularly suitable for Social Sciences, as they are a bridge between the arts and sciences.
What has been your favourite part of the course so far?
A real highlight of the PPE course is that it is a small cohort, roughly 30 in my year, so we get to know each other well. First Year has a set structure, allowing everyone to have equal understanding of the three subjects. I also enjoyed the introductory discovery modules in Politics, where I met many other students, making the seminar discussions very enjoyable. I love the high level of conversation you have in University and find it engaging and rewarding.
Have you chosen/completed a Study Abroad or Industry Placement year?
Instead of a year out, I chose to do a summer abroad which was going this summer in in Nice, France. Unfortunately it was cancelled this year due to Coronavirus, but I am working on my French to go next year! The Study Abroad office has a great Summer Abroad programme that you should definitely check out if you don’t want to take a year out.
Have you been involved in any extra-curricular activities?
At Leeds, I think I have truly found my passion as I have really developed writing for The Gyrphon, the uni newspaper. Next year I plan to continue with the paper and take my writing as far as I can. I was elected Social Secretary for Leeds Labour Students, so next year I will be planning lots of events as an exec member. Great for the CV and for my political interest.
What do you do in your spare time?
This summer, through the Gryphon, I have found a regional newspaper ,Yorkshire Bylines, who I am writing for and helping manage their social media. Swimming is a great way to de-stress, and The Edge has great facilities for all exercise. I like going out and also chilling at home on my nights off.
What is the best bit of advice you would give to your 16-year old self?
I was lucky enough to get accepted to Leeds through Access to Leeds, so certainly check to see if you are eligible. It really did prepare me to study three previously unstudied subjects with the academic essay I wrote as part of the programme. I applied to five competitive Universities, and I would say if your predicted grades match then go for it. Aim for your top choices, have a back up, but don’t think that you will be unable to get in to this or that place. Sell yourself and keep yourself competitive with relevant extra-curricular, so that your personal statement writes itself – in my opinion the most important part of the process.
Where do you see yourself after university?
I can see myself, hopefully, writing for a newspaper or doing media work. My degree has given me the depth of knowledge to underpin my journalism, and this is true of all the Social Sciences. My degree has enabled me to go easily into any field, and until recently, I was unsure of my possible career.
Sum up your university experience (so far!) in one sentence!
I love the learning, uni lifestyle and friends that, together with Leeds, have transformed my life.