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The University of Southampton
Social Statistics and DemographyPart of Economic, Social & Political Science

Rachel Baylis BSc Population and Geography 3rd Year

Rachel Baylis's Photo

Hi, my name is Rachel Baylis and I am studying BSc Population and Geography within Demography at the University of Southampton.

I knew that I was most interested in the demography side of geography, unlike almost all universities in the UK, Southampton offers the chance to specialise in demography at degree level.

Why did you choose to come and study at Southampton?

I knew that I was most interested in the demography side of geography, unlike almost all universities in the UK, Southampton offers the chance to specialise in demography at degree level. My unique course really attracted me to Southampton and when I visited for an open day, I knew I would be very happy here.

What were you anxious about before coming to Southampton?

I was worried about money as my maintenance loan didn’t even cover my accommodation. Luckily I have found plenty of work opportunities at Southampton including working at the football ground, and at the university in the shop, café and events. I was also worried about making friends, however I tried some taster sessions to find the best societies for me.

What is it like studying here?

The campus is beautiful, especially in spring. The lecturers have all been really good so far, especially those in the demography department. I have found myself taking modules just because I know that the lecturer is really passionate and helpful.

The new centenary building which celebrates 100 years of the university is really nice to work in as the views from the top floor are insane at sunset.

How do you rate study facilities at the University?

The swimming pool is really nice and I find myself going in between lectures multiple times a week. The university has also recently upgraded the changing rooms which is amazing.

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’ (best experiences) so far?

Our (free!) field trip to South Africa was amazing, especially as I got to celebrate my birthday there. As well as university visits and fieldwork, we were able to see giraffes, go to a rugby game and spend time on the beach. It was a great bonding experience for the course too.

I also really enjoyed my trip with the Photography society to Poland. Such a great bonus of joining societies.

I have also really enjoyed the work experience opportunities on offer – I completed an Excel Internship with a local charity and the Business Innovation Project.

My other highlight has been my time spent with the Canoe Polo society – I have never heard of the sport before joining university but now I love it!

How has your time at Southampton helped you to grow as a person?

I was so shy when I started university but have grown so much in confidence since. Now I can spend half an hour chatting on the phone to alumni in my work as a student fundraiser – I could never have done that before!

What are you enjoying most about your course?

The chance to specialise at an undergraduate level is amazing, some of the courses are very specific such as Population History of England. Others are broader and teach you transferable skills such as GIS and social statistic software.

Do you have the opportunity to study modules outside of your core subject area?

I have done an anthropology module which was very interesting. There is the opportunity to do modules in a whole range of subjects such as Politics, Spanish or Archaeology. This means you can really tailor your course into what you want it to be.

Did you/do you stay in University accommodation?

I stayed in Richard Newitt halls during my first year. I think Glen Eyre is such a good place to stay as there is always something going on! Halls also makes the adjustment from home to uni so much easier to deal with.

What is the city of Southampton like to live in?

Southampton is a great city and there is always something going on. I really like going to watch shows at the Mayflower for example. However there is so much to do on campus that I rarely have time to pop into town.

What three words sum up how you feel about your experiences so far at Southampton?

Exciting, Interesting, fun


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