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Name: Michael
Course: BA Social Studies [full-time]

My wife had taken part in the 2+2 degree and encouraged me to undertake the gateway course due the fact that I understood quite a lot of the course content, often discussing various social theorists in detail. This was due to having been interested in social and political issues which involved me reading widely around these subjects. I achieved good results in the gateway course and decided to apply for a full-time degree course after speaking with one of the universities careers advisors.

Michael, daughter Sam and wife Susan who all studied 2+2 Social Studies at CLL

Michael (right), daughter Sam (left) and wife Susan (middle) all studied 2+2 Social Studies at CLL

I really enjoyed the face-to-face seminars. It was so interesting interacting with students who were undertaking completely different degrees, such as media studies, business, and the arts, that I encountered undertaking IATL modules. I missed this in the final part of the course due to the pandemic restrictions. The virtual classrooms were a reasonable substitute but unfortunately were not quite as good an environment for spontaneous discussions.

During my first year I failed to plan my workload well enough to allow plenty of time for completing marked assignments. This led to me submitting some poor-quality work and a wildly varied range of marks. However, I did not repeat this mistake throughout the rest of the course and the consistency of my marks in years 2 and 3 reflected this.

I have gained a wider range of knowledge around subjects that I have been interested in for many years. Learning how to organise my thoughts and put them down on paper coherently is an empowering experience. I have recently submitted an article for publication in an academic journal and it is currently undergoing peer review. It would be an incredible feeling to know that others find my analysis of a subject interesting and that it might contribute to the existing knowledge and potentially influence further thought and debate.

I did not undertake my degree for purely vocational reasons. I worked throughout my degree and have continued in my current role as a community palliative healthcare assistant. However, I have now applied to some universities to undertake a master's degree in palliative care. I am really looking forward to focusing on a subject that I am passionate about. Depending on how successful I am I will also consider undertaking a doctorate in this field.

Michael celebrating his gradation at Warwick Celebrates 2022Michael celebrating his graduation at Warwick Celebrates 2022

There are two matters I would like to highlight for future students. As I alluded to earlier, plan your time well in advance. This will hopefully avoid the last-minute rush to complete assignments and cause you less stress.

My other piece of advice is: learn to read selectively. This is an invaluable skill, and it has served me well. The volume of reading can be daunting for many of us, but I found you can reduce this by focusing on the key ideas contained in articles and book chapters, cutting out much of the supporting information which often does little to contribute to your understanding. However, bear in mind that some pieces are well worth reading in full, but you should have the time to do this if you are selective.