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

Sophie Ross BSc Population and Geography (Year in Employment), 2019

MSc in Global Health

Sophie Ross's Photo

In second year as part of the trip you go on a field trip. We visited the University of Kerala and learnt about a data set they were collecting on the Ageing Population. When we were back in the UK we had to use this data set to investigate our own mini research project.

Why did you choose to come and study at Southampton?

I came to Southampton for an open day and stumbled across the course Population and Geography. I remember listening to a talk and was inspired by the enthusiasm and knowledge of the lecturers in the department. But even more importantly they were chatty, approachable and interested to get to know each student (and their parents!) at the talk. I felt so welcomed and the uniqueness of the course means that my decision to study here was quite easy. The course exists, at undergraduate level, nowhere else in the country and I was sure it was right for me.

What were your Southampton ‘highlights’?

Over my years in Southampton I got involved in a variety of different experiences outside of my studies. I was the department president for two years working to improve the course for current and future students. This was a really rewarding process as I could see the changes we proposed being implemented.

Further to this, I was part of the Zumba+ Committee. My main role was to organise charity events, in which we did many to raise money for a variety of different charities throughout the year.

What other activities did you take advantage of while at University?

In second year as part of the trip you also go on a fieldtrip. My year group went to India for ten days; it was a really interesting experience. We visited the University of Kerala and learnt about a data set they were collecting on the Ageing Population. When we were back in the UK we had to use this dataset to investigate our own mini research project.

At the end of third year I went to Madagascar with the charity and society SKIP. The trip aimed to improve health outcomes through health interventions. This included: basic hygiene, dental hygiene, malaria prevention and sexual health.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

I really enjoyed the Demography modules where we learnt about situations that were occurring all over the world as they were happening. The modules were so current and this meant you really felt you were getting an understanding of the world around you.

What are your plans for the future?

I am currently studying an MSc in Global Health here at Southampton.

In the future I would love to use my knowledge I have gained from both my degrees. But after I write my 20,000-word dissertation over summer I think I deserve some time off!

How did your time at Southampton help you to grow as a person and help you get to where you are now?

My time at Southampton has (and still is) helping me to develop a wide range of skills – from presentation skills to analytical. The skills you develop during the Population and Geography are very transferable as I am learning through my masters. Of course, you gain a lot of subject specific knowledge but through assignments you learn how to think critically.

What advice would you give to a student starting their degree at Southampton?

I would say to get involved in as much as you can outside of your academic because it is important to have hobbies/ sports to ensure you take breaks from constantly working.

Also, if you don’t understand something then just ask a lecturer either during or after the lecture or visit them during their office hours. They will not mind at all and would rather you go and saw them then sit in their lectures confused.

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