Chloe Murphy – BA (Hons) in Sociology and Politics

Name: Chloe Murphy

From: Mayo

School: St. Mary’s Secondary School, Ballina

Current Research Studies: Higher Diploma in Social Policy at University College Cork

I always had an interest in the area of social studies, particularly in social justice. When I found out about the joint major programme in both sociology and politics at ATU Sligo, I knew it was ideal for me and broad enough to explore many areas of interest. The two areas are very much intertwined and so it was very appealing to be able to study both.

One of my favourite modules included the Gender and Sexuality module. It really helps you gain an understanding into the fluidity of gender and sexuality as a social construct. This sparked a broader interest for me in this area and led to me completing my research dissertation in this area. Another module that I found to be of interest to me unexpectedly was the Globalisation, International Relations and Human Rights module. I particularly enjoyed the simulation element our end of term assignment which was a very interactive and engaging approach to an assessment.

I particularly enjoyed the research dissertation in Year 3. I think having this as a module gives students a chance to get into depth on a topic that appeals to them. It is a significant piece of work but thoroughly enjoyable to be creative in your direction with this.  Another aspect of the programme that really appealed to me was that you graduate in three years with an honours degree. This really incentivized me to remain motivated and hard-working knowing I would be able to progress into further studies sooner.

I think that new applicants should note that there is an Active Politics module in Year 2. It gives students the opportunity to have a taste of what it is like to apply their learning to a practical work setting.  Students can seek out a placement in an area of their interest which is a great chance to focus interests to a relevant area in the field. I got involved with my local town council and was able to see how local government works. It’s a very beneficial module to have this practical element and it helps the student realize how the potential prospects this degree can lead to.

Now that I have graduated, I feel I am well equipped with a very broad knowledge base which allows me to have many options in where I want to direct my further education. Also, the small class size really allowed for me to develop my communication skills because it was easier to speak openly and allow my voice to be heard since we had the opportunity to become so familiar with each other as a group. The lecturers certainly always encouraged that and being able to articulate my thoughts well, will always be a useful skill to have in my career path.

At present, I am attending a Higher Diploma programme in Social Policy with a view to proceed on to a Masters programme in either Social Work or Family and Youth studies. I’m volunteering with a mental health organization support service, and I hope to start working over the summer months in the social care field to gain experience prior to pursuing the MA programme.

I would truly encourage anyone considering a career in this field to go for it. It opens a vast amount of opportunity for both further education or entering social or political fields of work. With this joint major programme, you have a great opportunity to explore different areas within social and political studies and to find what areas appeal to you.

I have to say the support I felt while studying in the ATU Sligo was amazing. The lecturers are so helpful and always do their best to guide and encourage you. We were fortunate to have a lot of attention from the lecturers. They always made me feel so reassured that they would do their best to support me. I think the academic staff at ATU Sligo do a great job at making you feel capable in your abilities. The campus itself has a lovely atmosphere and a lot of great facilities. I always enjoyed my time spent there.

For incoming Sociology and Politics students I would say don’t be afraid to get involved in debates and having your voice heard. With my own class, we would spend a lot of time discussing individual views on different matters. I think it’s important to one’s development to be able to get comfortable in expressing their values and opinions among their classmates. Also, make use of the facilities that are available. There are some very helpful resources, the academic writing centre for instance, that can alleviate some of the concerns around how to approach writing assignments and even for your research dissertation. Finally, the student base at ATU Sligo is so lovely- I’d advise new students to look into the clubs and societies to find like minded people and outlets for you to enjoy yourself while on your academic journey.

Find out more about AU916 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Sociology and Politics