From Culture to Criminality - studying Sociology at ARU

Course: BA Hons Sociology

10 May 2019

My name is Grace, and I am currently in my second year at Anglia Ruskin University studying Sociology. Upon leaving sixth form I felt like somewhat of a lost cause, I had the grades I needed to go to university but was in limbo about what to study. It wasn’t until I attended the ARU Open Day that my mind was made up. For me Sociology encompassed so many areas I was interested in finding out more about, from religion and culture to criminality. When I graduate university next year, I hope to train as a Victim Liaison Officer with the police, a role which I feel is well suited to the degree I am studying.

For me, the most special thing about studying sociology at ARU has been the close-knit student community.  The Humanities and Social Sciences department in particular puts on frequent student events which allow you to mix with peers studying similar, or completely different courses. These events vary from music and film nights, to essay writing masterclasses.  There’s something for just about everyone.

Throughout my time studying Sociology at ARU I had been lucky enough to attend a number of brilliant guest lectures, such as one hosted by several members of the Cambridgeshire and Essex Cybercrime unit. Guest lectures are a brilliant way to transfer the ideas and skills you learn within ordinary lectures to a wider, real life setting. In addition, these lectures provide students with the chance to network with professionals who may be able to aid them in their career following graduation.
In my second year studying Sociology at Anglia Ruskin, I was also given the opportunity to complete a period of work experience. I chose to complete my placement in a sixth form college, where I was responsible for helping to teach Sociology and Criminology to 16-18 year olds. This experience offered me an invaluable insight into the working world, and helped me to expand my future career prospects, building upon my communication and organisational skills.

The lecturers and personal tutors at Anglia Ruskin are brilliant, not only for supporting you academically but also supporting your development as a person. I have found that having regular contact with somebody who understands the highs and lows of university life incredibly helpful and reassuring. By maintaining this contact with your personal tutors and lecturers they are also able to point you in the direction of opportunities, both in and outside of the university, which they think may appeal directly to you.

Having lived in Cambridge my whole life, my biggest reservation on studying at home was, am I going to miss out on the “uni” experience? Fortunately this was not the case! University has introduced me to hidden gems within the city I never knew existed and given me the opportunity to attend a variety of events, ranging from student nights out to Guest Lectures at Cambridge University. University has also allowed me to build friendships with like-minded people from all across the world, an opportunity that I would have unlikely had without ARU. 

If I were to pick one highlight from my studies at Anglia Ruskin University, it would have to be the variety of different people I have met and become friends with. University has without question helped me to build my confidence and communication skills. This is something I am incredibly grateful for and look forward to putting into practice within the workplace in the coming years.