Student profile - Daniel Hooper
When filtering through the arduous task of deciding what course study and where, the endless barrage of questions fill your head: what's the best course, where's best to study it; is the nightlife good in that particular town/city?! These questions were swiftly brushed aside when I walked onto the Exeter campus. After I had successfully conquered the hill, I was glad to learn that Politics was based at the bottom – success!
The reputation of Exeter Politics is always improving and this was evident from the enthusiasm of the staff and the amount of research opportunities available. When a student can move from a lecture on Middle Eastern politics to a tutorial on strategy in war, the prospects for the determined individual appear endless. This course teaches you much more than just the practical aspects of Politics, it teaches an essence of society that is vital yet commonly forgotten.
The combination of lectures and tutorials provide a successful median through which a student can reach the limits of their mental capacity trying to get their minds around political thought or the science of the policy process. A credit to the course is that it does not focus on British Politics, rather it moves into international relations and exploring, not only the reasons why the state or the world is the way it is, but how the prospects of the future can be defined and constructed. The nature of the degree does not only give the student an understanding of Politics, it teaches the student how to improve their methods of reasoning and argument. Every person can remember a time where they wished they had the ability to respond to an argument or the facts to support a claim! A Politics degree from Exeter will teach you the methods to achieve this. The degree is not all about the political process, it is about understanding that every argument has two sides and the necessity to understand and analyse different elements of an argument; a skill that will aid the student after University.
As a student living in Exeter the city can cater for all characters. Being small enough to provide comfort, its array of high street shops and three cinemas allow for general comfort away from the stresses of university life. Its nightlife isn't excessive but in my opinion that adds character. A student can go to a nightclub and see friends, albeit having lost the friends they arrived with! The quay provides an element of tranquility, whilst the avid watersports fan need look no further than the beaches at Dawlish and Exmouth for wind/kite surfing, or the beauty of Dartmoor for kayaking and hiking. As a keen kayaker, Dartmoor has provided the most beautiful of paddles, whilst the beaches have been great for BBQ's! The friendly atmosphere and student environment evident in Exeter allows for an unforgettable experience, one that will remain with old Exeter students long after they have graduated.
The willingness of the Politics department to provide me with references and the means to gain a credible internship possibility has resulted in internships within the British Parliament in London, and with a company in Brussels, Belgium. The experiences have led me to consider the Civil Service upon graduating, alongside considerations of taking up my Army scholarship at Sandhurst. Altogether, the experiences, both academic and social, have built a platform from which I am ready to step further into a career. I already know, as I enter my third year, that I will follow the sentiments above with the Exeter experience looking likely that it will be hard to forget.