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My course has enabled me to lead a project to improve student safety on campus

Student spotlight | BA (Hons) Sociology

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My name is Hannah Elizabeth Crossley and I have just finished my undergraduate degree in sociology from the Leeds School of Social Sciences at Leeds Beckett.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to sociology?

I joined Leeds Beckett in 2017 on the Biomedical Science undergraduate degree, as I wanted to become a biology teacher. After six months, however, I realised the course was not for me. I had loved sociology so much at A level, so I decided to transfer courses and started in September 2018. I had studied sociology for two years prior and had always loved learning about society, and as a working-class female student I was always looking to learn more about the world around me and how women and other minorities fit into it. At first, I wasn’t sure on which area of sociology I was most attracted to, which is why I was drawn to Leeds School of Social Sciences because of the wide range of modules on offer. As the degree progressed, however, I found my area of interest was feminist theory and gender studies.

What made you choose Leeds Beckett?

I applied to Leeds Beckett through clearing but have always been drawn to Leeds as a city as I am from the north of England originally and didn’t want to go too far from home. Although I came across Leeds Beckett through clearing, the reason I stayed after transferring courses was its excellent teaching reputation and the level of support I received from staff that I possibly would not have found in another institution.

What has been your favourite thing about your time studying at Leeds Beckett?

My favourite thing about studying at Leeds Beckett was the help and guidance I received from the staff, in my final year as I got to focus in on my area of interest, as well as completing my dissertation on sexual harassment at work, and could not have done it without Dr Darren Nixon. I also spoke at and co-organised an online event on women’s safety and sexual harassment in April of this year. After Sarah Everard’s murder in March, I reached out to Dr Natalia Gerodetti with my concerns around student safety and hoping to raise awareness about the severity of sexual violence. As a result of this event, myself and another fellow student are now collaborating on a project to organise consent workshops and women’s self-defence classes on campus, alongside raising awareness and kick-starting conversations on this really important topic. Without the support from the entire sociology staff, I would not have been able to achieve any of this, and also I would not have had the confidence to apply for my Masters degree in Gender Studies at University College London, which I will be starting in September.

What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course?

The best advice I can give is to reach out and ask for help! Although the workload is mostly independent, the lecturers are there for a reason and they really are there to help you. Also, I think it’s important to read broadly when you first start and try not to get too overwhelmed with all the content that’s out there, just so you can find your feet in whatever subject area you find most interesting. Once you find your niche, try and focus your work around this as best you can, so you already are well versed in the content of that area. This really helped me when I was writing my dissertation and when I applied for my Masters.

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In Clearing
BA (Hons)

Sociology

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Female student in lecture theatre
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