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Geography and Environmental ScienceOur alumni

Liam Harney BA Geography, 2013, 2013

PhD Candidate at Queen Mary, University of London

Liam Harney's Photo

Hi, I'm Liam Harney and I studied BA Geography within Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton.

I enjoyed the choice of modules; you could do anything from climate change, to development and inequality in cities - you really get to shape the degree the way you want to.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?
I chose Southampton because it had a really good reputation for Geography in the league tables. I also wanted to move away from home, but not too far, so it was nice coming down to the South and exploring a new city.

What have you enjoyed about studying Geography?
I enjoyed the choice of modules; you could do anything from climate change, to development and inequality in cities so it’s really interesting and you really get to shape the degree the way you want to. As you go through the course you learn more about what you find interesting and what you don’t so there was a real freedom which I enjoyed.

What have you enjoyed about University life?
The opportunities to get involved with societies have been great. I went to Madagascar in my first year on a development and teaching trip through the University. We stayed with a local community for about five weeks whilst we were teaching which was really exciting. The University is great because it gives you opportunities to do things that you wouldn’t normally do. The campus at Southampton has got a lot of good facilities and student bars so there is a lot to do and get involved with in terms of the social side as well.

Were you involved in many clubs and societies?
There is GeogSoc, which is really good because you get to know everyone in your course in an informal environment and there are lots of intramural sports teams you can get involved with through GeogSoc, like football and netball. Then of course there are the field trips with Geography. In the first year we went to the Isle of Wight and then in the second year I went to Paris. The trips are a great chance to get to know each other and learn in a practical way.

What are your plans for the future?
I am just about to start a Masters in Geography at Queen Mary University and hopefully go on to do a PhD. I would not be able to do this without the support of my supervisors at Southampton; they were really helpful in terms of encouraging me and spurring me on to apply.

Who were your supervisors?
Nick Clark was my supervisor and Kate Boyer was my tutor. They were very supportive and gave me practice interviews, wrote references and advised me on which universities I might want to look at which was really helpful.

What are you interested in specialising in?
I am interested in Political Geography and so I plan to look at localism and The Big Society from quite a critical perspective. This should be very interesting over the next few years.

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