BA Social Policy and Sociology student Jenny Hull

Jenny Hull

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Jenny Hull, I’m a second year Social Policy and Sociology student. I'm originally from the coast in Norfolk, and living in Leeds feels a million miles away from the small village in which I grew up. I studied Sociology, Psychology and History at Paston Sixth Form and achieved 2A* and an A (and a C in AS English).

What motivated you to apply for your course at Leeds?

I have always had an inquisitive nature, and when choosing my A-level subjects sociology stood out for me as a subject which wasn’t rigid, in which having an opinion was not only expected but encouraged. Applying for Sociology and Social Policy made sense for me, as social policy provides a lot of context to which the social world operates.

I got a great feel of Leeds as soon as I visited, the open day talks were inspiring and it was exciting to be in a room with people who shared a passion for a subject, instead of a room of people forced into studying it at A-level! Leeds was the lowest in terms of entrance grades offered to me, I also got accepted in Bath, Bristol, Cambridge and LSE. However, the feel I got of Leeds and the city upon arriving, I knew it was the right place to study sociology. The School, the University and the city are diverse, it’s the best place to study inequalities and the social world we live in, as Leeds is so rich in culture.

What do you think of your course?

I love my course, every module relates really well together and I think this has been a highlight for me, as it allows you to transfer knowledge to make each assignment better and more well-rounded. For example, my studies in 'Comparative International Social Policy' have really helped me when putting together my essay on gender and the workplace in 'Sociology of Work'.

I am currently on a module which allows me to carry out a research project for Citizen’s Advice Leeds, which has been a great experience as I have made some good contacts outside of the University, and been able to apply the knowledge gained from my course to produce research which can make an effective difference to Leeds.

How would you describe the guidance you've received?

University is different from school and that is a big learning curve, if you want help you need to seek it out. This takes a while to get used to, however all the staff are assessable and genuinely want you to do well and become an independent, critical thinker.

What do you think of the facilities?

The University is like its own little city, the campus has everything you need! From the The Edge to the libraries, all the facilities are designed with students in mind and it’s a really good place to be and study. The Union is a hive of exciting things and all the coffee there is good!

Have you had the opportunity to study abroad, or complete a year in industry?

I have secured a placement at the Department of Work and Pensions for a year, starting in August. I will be working as a Social Researcher and I am so excited to be able to put all of my skills learnt on the degree into practice. People often comment that sociology doesn’t lead to a particular field, however the skills picked up across the various modules mean that you graduate with a set of abilities which are unique to many other graduates.

Have you been involved in extra-curricular activities?

I am currently the President of the Sociology Society (SocSoc) and also the Netball Captain for the sociology team – we came third in Division 2 this year! I’ve also been part of STAR Leeds, a society which teach English to refugees in the city, as well as trying out trampolining (a lot harder that I thought!!).  There are so many clubs and societies to get involved in that it can be overwhelming, but my advice is that you should just be brave and go for it.