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Studying Politics – Student Success Story

Case study photo
Freddie studied Economics and Politics at
the University of Sussex

Freddie graduated from the University of Sussex in the summer of 2015. Born in Essex, Freddie grew up in Florida, before moving to Surrey in 2004, where he has lived ever since. His BA (Hons) in Economics and Politics is already helping him make strides into the working world, and we caught up with Freddie just over a month into his new job:

What inspired you to study Politics?

  • I've always been interested in why politicians make the decisions that they do and thought that studying politics was the perfect way to develop a better understanding of that. 
  • I had a great teacher at A-Level who got me interested in more than just British and American politics. He based every lesson on stories which were in the news, and that made the course much more interesting because discussions were continually developing rather than already having a set path.
Why did you choose to study at your university?
  • Initially I was really against the idea of going to a campus university, but when I went to the open day at Sussex I realised how fun it was to be surrounded by so many other people in the same situation, and to have everything in one place. I had previously been to an open day at another university and didn't like the fact that the buildings were spread out around the city very as it broke up the student vibe that a campus university has.
  • It was a top 20 university.
  • Sussex is based on the outskirts of Brighton so that promised a great nightlife, shopping and the sea!
What did you like about the course?
  • It was really well-suited to me as the Economics half of the degree had more theory than maths in it, and the politics half offered huge variety in terms of the countries that the modules focused on.
  • I really enjoyed all of my modules about Europe, especially because of the ongoing story of the UK considering leaving the EU, and generally speaking the fast-moving nature of the course kept it really fresh and fun.
What learning methods does your university employ?
  • We had weekly lectures and seminars with roughly 8-10 contact hours per week on average.
  • Occasionally we had interactive lessons using clickers that allowed us to give feedback and to answer questions to see if we understood the content of the lecture.
What aspects of the course did you find difficult? Did the university support you well?
  • The statistics courses I studied were really difficult because I don't enjoy maths. The university gave great guides on how to structure our reports, and office hours were very helpful for sorting out issues and checking that essays were going in the right direction.
How did you fund your studies?
  • Student loans primarily. I was a student elections ambassador in my 3rd year, promoting the importance of voting and showing people how to do it, but it only earned me a small amount of money to go out and have fun.
What about the social side of things at university, does a Politics student find much time for it? What sort of things did you get up to?
  • There is plenty of time for relaxing and socialising as long as you don't have any deadlines looming. 
  • I'm sports mad so I had a lot of involvement in a load of different sports societies, especially tennis for which I organised tournaments and free sessions at the weekend. We went out every week on socials and my time spent with everyone from the Tennis Society was probably my most fun at university.
  • There is a club for everyone though and I spent a lot of time with the politics society too, going to events with guest speakers and then chatting in the pub afterwards.
What do you plan to do now that you’ve graduated?
  • I have started on an 18 month graduate scheme with an organisation called Ofwat, the government's economic regulator of the water industry, and am loving it so far! I never considered postgraduate study because I didn't want to delay getting into the working world and luckily already had my job sorted before I graduated.
How has your university supported your career aspirations?
  • I received a great degree at Sussex and it allowed me to get a job in something that I am really enjoying.
  • I went to a couple of good career events in my 3rd year and could have gone to more. Sussex organised tonnes of events on a huge variety of professions but I found my own job separately.

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