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My student experience Sociology and social sciences

Hi, my name is Eleanor and I am a BA (Hons) Sociology student here at Edge Hill University, this means I am part of the wider Social Sciences Department too. I would like to tell you about my experiences with my course at Edge Hill, and the services I have received as a student at this University.

An image of sociology student, Eleanor Rowell

Sociology and social sciences

From my experience, Sociology at Edge Hill University is an enlightening and fascinating course which provides endless opportunities for growth, development and expanding interests. The course content is fascinating, providing a range of angles, perspectives and approaches to theories, ideologies, and topics. There is a diverse approach to discussion topics (both with tutors and peers) which have helped me to develop an informed and critical perspective to sociological debates. The tutors, module leaders and Head of Department are helpful in guiding students to deepen their understanding of the course, and to explore specific passions within the sociology content. Emails are responded to quickly and there are also Student Representatives within the Department too, who provide answers to questions or concerns should you feel more comfortable speaking to another student rather than a staff member. The support network within Edge Hill is generous and assistive to any problem which may be faced.

I have my lectures and seminars in Creative Edge building on Campus each week. My lectures are held in the lecture hall and there is a large group of students who attend these simultaneously. Seminars are held in smaller classrooms and we are in groups of around 20 to allow detailed discussions with our peers and seminar tutors too.

In addition to Creative Edge, Catalyst is another space that I regularly use as for my studies. Catalyst is the Edge Hill Library space, as well as being home to Student Support Services, Library and Learning Services, and the Helpdesk. The staff are very helpful, always being on-hand to answer any queries and support students in any way. Within Catalyst, students can loan books and articles, use desktop and laptop computers, and rent study spaces too. Catalyst provides a brilliant, neutral space for working collaboratively whilst still having all the resources at hand to aid research and projects. Not only this, but the online Library catalogue is also useful when studying outside of University Buildings as many books, articles and journals are accessible to read from your computer, phone, or tablet online or at home.

I also love to find quiet spots on campus, such as on the benches by the Education lake, to immerse myself in pre-seminar readings and wider readings. Additionally, taking a walk around the stunning campus grounds, either on my own with my headphones in, or with friends, has provided the opportunity for mindfulness and relaxation away from my studies and other commitments.

Clubs and societies

Outside of my course, societies and sport clubs have provided me with further opportunities for personal growth and to explore my interests, and even try new things. Additionally, through this I have met new people of similar interests to myself and widened my social circle within my university experience. For example, I am a member of the Sign Language Society, and partake in Rounders, Rugby, and Hockey too. Also, I am a member of the Gym on campus too; the subsidised membership has allowed me to use the Swimming Pool Facilities, Gym and even dance and fitness classes too which I had never tried before. Edge Hill is a place not only for academic growth, but personal growth too which is supported fully by the University to grab as many opportunities as you desire

Wider support

The best part about my degree so far has been opening and expanding my mind and learning new ideas and perspectives each time I do a little reading, within my lectures, or within discussions in my seminars. After completing my degree, I am looking forward to a career in Global Aid and Development, and at Edge Hill University, I have been given the opportunities to take the steps forward to achieve this career.

The mixed variety of assessment methods is beneficial to my learning as it allows everyone to be able to apply their strengths in different aspects of assessment. For example, essay writing is a strength for some people, whilst presentation work is a strength for others. In addition to this, approaches to each assessment method and revision techniques are explored within lectures, seminars and discussions, as well as Edge Hill UniSkills videos which explain academic techniques and provide assessment approach support too. UniSkills is an academic skills tool created by Edge Hill University for all students to apply to their studies, which has been of immense benefit to me throughout my studies. My department, fellow students and Catalyst staff have been on hand to support me in any way I need throughout my experience at Edge Hill University so far.

I have got dyslexia, and the Learning Support team at Edge Hill have worked closely with me to create a Support Plan; a document which I attach to each piece of coursework that I submit, to ensure the person marking my work is aware of any additional needs that I have. Also, the Support Plan is given to my tutors to discreetly make them aware of my additional learning needs throughout the duration of my learning too. This helps me to make the most of my contact time with my tutors and get the most out of my course at Edge Hill. Support plans can be reviewed to alter and improve the support which is provided to each student- this allows everyone to be on a level playing field with their learning. The wide range of support for students is subjective and specific to each student’s needs.

Thanks for reading and I hope this has helped you learn a little bit about Sociology and Social Sciences at Edge Hill University, as well as to hear about some of my wider experiences as a student here, too.

Here more from Eleanor here:

June 5, 2022