Matthew Hince

Matthew Hince

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I grew up in Oldham, Manchester, I have two parents that support me but being from a low-income background and separated parents – when you're one of five children – definitely shapes you.  I attended Lancaster University as a first generation student for my undergraduate, and I was fortunate enough to graduate with 1st class honours in Law with the Oxford University Law Press Prize for my dissertation and the Universities' David Meredith Award for my volunteer work with LGBTQ+ Immigrants and Asylum seekers for Immigration Equality in Manhattan, New York.

At present, I am the recipient of the Liberty Scholarship with the University of Leeds which has given me a partial reduction on my fees and has helped me to attend postgraduate education.

What motivated you to apply to study your chosen course and why did you choose Leeds?

For me, the purpose of completing a Masters was to advance the tools and skill set necessary for conducting a PhD. I wanted to mature the capabilities I learned at Lancaster University while approaching academia from a new school of law to develop breadth in knowledge and critical thought.

What do you think of your course, have there been any particular highlights for you?

I think it is quite a fantastic experience to be able to bring together Masters Level Law and Sociology modules that all have a clear focus on achieving social justice. Ultimately, I think the most enjoyable part of the course is that in some ways it feels like a whole new discipline. Coming from a background in law, it has been motivating to open up new lines of critical thought from sociologist' scholars that I had not previously encountered.

How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff within the School?

My main source of support comes from the wonderful Dr. Mitchell Travis who is my academic advisor and the person who first welcomed us to the School of Law when my cohort started the Masters. I have been quite lucky as I've managed to find a really healthy work-study-life balance but I am confident that my professors and my academic advisor are some of the most kind, insightful and approachable professionals there is. The school is welcoming and accessible and I have really benefitted from the environment that is fostered by the teaching staff here,

How would you describe the facilities at the University?

Firstly, I think it goes without saying that I have been especially fortunate to have taken part in Professor Luke Clements Social Care analysis modules, of which, was co-taught by Professor Hilary Sommerlad. Secondly, the overall curriculum is rich with a breadth of topics and, accordingly, no two students on the course have the exact same choice of modules. This variety is backed up by a body of academics who prepare challenging and stimulating seminars that are backed by an assortment of essential and further readings.

What do you think of Leeds as a city?

Being based in Manchester and having previously studied in Lancaster, it is a great feeling to commute to Leeds and experience a new city, based in the North that is thriving with culture. Leeds is new and exciting and so student friendly that I think it is a wonderful place to study and thrive.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

100% go for it. I applied for multiple postgraduate degrees but when the time came to make a decision, I knew without a doubt that a degree in Law and Social Justice was an unrivalled opportunity. I honestly cannot imagine doing any other course right now and enjoying it as much as I can while being consistently challenged by each seminar. The course is enlightening and provoking and finds you asking yourself questions you would never even usually think about and I am adamant that this Masters will prove to be a long-lasting and rewarding experience.

What do you plan to do once you’ve finished your course?

My hope is to go into studying a PhD and continue in academia. To me, a Masters has always been that "next step" where one really tests their capabilities at a postgraduate level. I am excited to see where my education takes me and how my Masters will help contribute to this.