I chose Warwick because I felt that it was an institution at which I would be able to refine my research interests, and possibly stay here to do a PhD. I think that Warwick stands out because there are a plethora of academics here who undertake a broad range of research. Even if you aren’t taught by someone, it is always easy to go and speak to people, in order to further develop research interests.
I was also attracted to the choice of modules on offer, and the reputation of the department. I really love the modules focused upon gender and feminism. These modules have allowed me to not only develop expertise within the area of gender, but have also allowed me to reconsider, from a feminist perspective, how knowledge about the social world is constructed.
My favourite module was Feminist Theory and Epistemology. I found this module interesting as it took a different pedagogical approach to other modules. I also was able to attend lectures with a variety of academics undertaking research in their respective view.
I love the fact that the department puts on so many events for students to get involved in, such as the department seminar series, which allows me to attend talks from visiting academics. There are also further opportunities to feed back into how the department operates, for example, as part of the SSLC.
I intend to write my dissertation on War Museums, establishing how the horrors of war have been appropriate to create a national collective memory, and how this romantics the horrors of colonialism.
- Adele Cresswell, MA Sociology (2018)
I graduated with an MA with the intention to go into research, but I felt that I needed a different theoretical and methodological framework to fully understand the questions of inequality and power that interested me. The MA in Social and Political Thought allowed me to use my background in cultural and critical theory while gaining new methodological skills, enabling me to study inequality as a social practice rather than as a question of representation.
The combination of sociology and political theory provided a very potent framework for engaging critically with issues such as neoliberalism and biopolitics both as bodies of thoughts and as every-day practices. I particularly appreciated the focus on capitalism and markets which made the course highly relevant for understanding contemporary economic, social and political changes. The department really listens to its students. I joined the Student-Staff Liaison Committee as a course representative which was a great way to help improve the programme for my course mates and future students.
Warwick is a very international university and offers good support for those moving to the UK for the first time. Another plus is the wide range of societies; I joined the Allotment Society which was a great way of getting a break from the books and meeting people across other disciplines and nationalities.
- Tirzah Højgaard Jensen, MA Social and Political Thought (2017)
On completion of my MA Social Research, I was keen to be able to apply what I’d learned in whatever employment I took up. My initial job search was extensive, covering many fields and disciplines including academia and further research. As my search progressed I found myself more and more drawn to jobs that used research creatively, having been particularly inspired by a module called Visual Sociology whilst I was at Warwick.
I now work as a freelancer in documentary film making. Starting my career at Latimer, a youth-centred social enterprise, committed to affecting social change through creative media and film production. Here, alongside film campaigns on social issues, I got my first experience on a television documentary for Channel 4 looking at Dog Fighting. From there I moved to working at VICE Media on documentaries covering issues such as LGBT rights and culture, drag and gender play and body modification. I'm now a freelance Assistant Producer for TV documentary and am currently working on a BBC 2 series about social mobility. Although many of my colleagues came to filmmaking through studying media or at film school, I’ve found that the process of social research lends itself to documentary. Most importantly, this MA provided me with broad experience that opened up many avenues for work on graduating.
- Sophie Perrins, MA Social Research (2012)
I chose a postgraduate degree at Warwick as I had studied my undergraduate degree here and wanted to spend another year in the Sociology department. I wanted to build on knowledge gained at undergraduate level, and explore my interests further. I know there are a range of staff in the department with different interests, allowing me to really focus in and explore my specific interests. The department also holds seminar series and talks by external speakers, giving opportunity to hear from those in the wider academic community. There are also loads of societies to get involved in on campus, alongside a large postgraduate community, meaning there are always new things to try and new people to meet.
I have gained a vast number of quantitative skills since starting at Warwick. I understand there is a real shortage in the graduate market, with employers desiring quantitative skills. This course provides me with necessary research skills to conduct my own projects, allowing me to think independently and explore my interests. These are transferable skills, meaning I feel confident in writing up reports in an efficient and articulate manner.
- Gemma Ford, MSc Quantitative Social Research (2019)
I chose Warwick specifically since it has the best balance of a solid, academic reputation and caters to my own research interests. I was also recommended Warwick by a lecturer from my undergraduate degree, who said it was a dynamic place to study with lots going on. I did a Politics and Sociology undergraduate degree several years ago, and chose this MA so I could develop research skills from a sociological perspective. I was interested in studying a mix of gender and development, and economic sociology topics, which I saw Warwick had expertise in when applying.
My MA covers a range of topics, with a strong focus on research methods as these are my core modules. I have studied modern capitalism in everyday society, international development from a gendered perspective, as well as the fundamentals of undertaking social research, which was the main draw of this course to me. I’ve found that this degree definitely links in with how I view the world day-to-day, and has helped me think about my personal experiences and being part of society from a different perspective. It's great also having a range of events and workshops happening at Warwick which are linked to Sociology, as these help bring my interests out of the classroom a bit more and give what I study a real-world relevance.
I know that studying Sociology at Warwick has given me both a necessary background in social research training and a real opportunity to pursue an academic career. Studying at Warwick has been a great and varied experience, and the campus environment helps you focus on learning and making the most of your time here.
- Romain Chenet, MA Social Research (2017), current PhD candidate
I chose to pursue postgraduate studies at Warwick because I am familiar with the university, having completed my undergraduate degree here. I already felt integrated into the Warwick Sociology community, which is very diverse, friendly and open. My favourite aspect of the course was writing my dissertation. Warwick has excellent resources for postgraduate students (such as the Postgraduate Hub) and I had great support from my supervisor and department staff.
My favourite non-academic aspect of Warwick is the numerous opportunities to become involved in social activities. I've been involved with the sports club 'Warwick Barbell' which have regular socials and training sessions.
My course helped me to explore the numerous ways to collect data and I now feel confident using the methods I learnt during my PhD research. I am currently still in the Warwick Sociology department completing my PhD through an ESRC scholarship.
- Jessica Tatchell, MA Social Research (2017), current PhD candidate
I had already worked at Oxfam for a few years when I started the MA. Studying at Warwick was an opportunity to build my theoretical understanding of programme work while developing expertise on gender and development theory and practice. Doing the MA part-time allowed me to apply what I was learning directly to my work, particularly for the dissertation which I did as a joint project with Oxfam. I really enjoyed looking at my work in a new light from post-colonial and feminist perspectives, challenging myself to critique traditional approaches and do things in different ways.
Warwick is one of a few UK universities which recognises the importance of an international development course with a specific focus on gender justice. There was flexibility to take a variety of gender-focused modules across the Sociology, Law and Politics departments, which brought different perspectives to the issues we were studying. There were about 12 of us on the course, so we got to know each other really well, going for lunches after lectures, studying together and meeting up in the Sociology common room. Being a small group also meant we had a lot of contact time with academic staff. All the tutors were fantastic and often went above and beyond with support and guidance, especially during essay and dissertation meltdowns!
I am currently working at Oxfam as a Youth Active Citizenship Adviser, focusing on young women’s political participation, gender-based violence and youth sexual and reproductive health rights. The course modules enriched my understanding of these thematic areas, especially the importance of feminist and participant-led approaches. I also apply findings on social norms and traditional gender roles from my dissertation research to our programmes on youth employment and young women's economic empowerment. Going back to university after having worked for a few years has reignited my love of studying, and I hope to carry on building the learning from the MA now that I’m working full-time on programme development.
- Imogen Davies, MA Gender and International Development (2016)