Emily Tyers

Emily Tyers

BSc (Hons) Sociology 2016

What did you enjoy about your degree programme?

I particularly enjoyed the level of freedom offered by the degree programme. As I progressed through the three years of study, and after gaining a foundation of knowledge through compulsory modules such as 'Classical and Contemporary Social Theory,' there were more opportunities to pursue personally specific areas of interest through increased optional modules. For me, these modules included studying Addiction, Violence, and Statistics.

Tell us about the degree you have achieved. What does it mean to you?

I have just finished my third and final year of study at the University of Exeter, and achieved a First Class BSc (Hons) Sociology degree. My degree course focused specifically on crime and deviance, and explored a range of research methodologies including both qualitative and quantitative techniques.

My undergraduate dissertation project – Classed Inequalities and Higher Education: A Study of the University of Exeter Student Experience – investigated the barriers faced by disadvantaged students and the Government's 'Widening Participation' scheme.

Studying Sociology at the University of Exeter has been absolutely fantastic. The University of Exeter consistently ranks in the top 5 universities for this subject, which is something that means a great deal to me.

I believe that studying at the University of Exeter has provided me not only with a top class degree, but also with a range of transferable skills that I can use in future employment. Studying social sciences provides opportunities in a number of employment sectors, as the topics explored have a wide scope which can be used in many ways.

What has been the highlight of your time at Exeter?

There have been countless 'highlights' of my time at the University of Exeter, but if I were to choose one, I would say that working as a Student Advocate for SSIS has been my favourite. Working as a student advocate was particularly enjoyable, as it offered a chance to work alongside my college, and specifically a chance to inspire new students to apply to the University of Exeter. This is something I am very passionate about, as 'Widening Participation' featured as a key part of my undergraduate dissertation project.

My highlight of working as a student advocate would have to be acting as a Team Leader for a Year 12 residential week, which took place in June. During this week, we worked closely with students aspiring to pursue higher education, taking them on a journey as to what being a student at Exeter would be like. During this week, they attended a number of academic sessions, and took part in organised group work and presented on their work at the end of the week – which my team won!

What will you miss the most about University?

There are many aspects of university I will miss, but I think the sense of companionship and solidarity on campus shared between students is what I will miss most. The University of Exeter is incredibly lively and friendly, and there are many opportunities to meet new people and gain new experiences.

During my time here, participating in things such as the Exeter Welcome Team and completing both the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leader's Award have been incredibly rewarding and great opportunities to meet students from other disciplines and work closely together and forge new friendships.

What advice would you give to current and future students?

I have found that organisation, especially in third year, is vital. To all current and future students, I would advise them to organise their work in advance, to ensure they have enough time to complete their work comfortably before the deadline.

I have found that organisation is also key in order to ensure you can achieve a healthy work/social life balance. Although studying is the most important aspect of your time at university, there are so many opportunities provided by Exeter to get involved in volunteering, leadership, sports and academic societies. For me, without organising my time efficiently, I would have struggled to maintain my position on the Sociology and Anthropology committee and found playing sports weekly very difficult.

What are your plans now that you have graduated?

After graduating, I plan to spend five months travelling. After spending the last 17 years in education, I relish the opportunity to explore parts of the world I have never seen, and understand the ways in which different cultures vary to our own – something I have studied during my time at Exeter.

Following this break, I plan to pursue a career in either education or prisoner rehabilitation, as I have found during my time at Exeter that this is where my passions lie. Working to educate and rehabilitate young offenders back into society after prison would be my dream job.