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The University of Southampton
Politics and International RelationsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

Jonathan Kirman BSc Politics and International Relations

2017 Graduate

Jonathan Kirman's Photo

I really enjoyed the freedom I was allowed by the department in choosing a dissertation topic which meant something to me, even if there was not an obvious ‘expert’ on the topic within the teaching staff.

Why did you choose to come and study at Southampton?

Southampton is a Russell Group University and is one of the top universities in the country both in terms of research and excellent teaching standards. The city has a friendly welcoming atmosphere with a lot going on and to get involved in and is near to London, Brighton and Bournemouth, but also areas of the country I had never visited like the New Forest, Winchester and Isle of Wight. All of this offered new experiences and were a real draw for me choosing to study at Southampton.

What is it like studying here?

Politics was a really interesting subject and the teaching staff were incredibly supportive and accommodating – particularly with dissertation topics. Christian Enemark was my dissertation tutor and his support and guidance as both a dissertation tutor and module coordinator was outstanding. He went above and beyond to support students and make his lectures and seminars both interesting and engaging.

What have you enjoyed most about your course?

I really enjoyed the freedom I was allowed by the department in choosing a dissertation topic which meant something to me, even if there was not an obvious ‘expert’ on the topic within the teaching staff. Other highlights included the Ethics of War module which really challenged my opinions of morality during warfare and conflict and the Statecraft simulation game element of second year International Relations study. This provided a hands on and innovative approach to teaching international relation theory which allowed for greater understanding on the course content.

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’?

My time as Politics and International Relations Academic Vice-President was incredibly fulfilling. Supporting students with concerns and improving the course for future students was a great thing to be part of. I also very much enjoyed my time with Surge Radio the university’s student radio. It was the first society I joined at university and I presented shows 2 or 3 times every week throughout my three years. Safe to say it wasn’t ground breaking radio but it was a lot of fun. I also really enjoyed the fresher’s and Grad ball SUSU ran but also really enjoyed the course societies events. Politics Society every year put on a Boat Ball which was great fun and the Humanities and Social Science Christmas Ball was a great way to celebrate the festive period at uni. A final highlight was during my time on the committees of several societies throughout my time at the University. I cannot recommend it more, it’s a great way to meet new people and take responsible for the events societies run.

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

I have become a much more confident person during my time at Southampton. Running for committee positions and positions within the Union pushed me out of my comfort zone and gave me the opportunity to really take advantage of extra-curricular opportunities the university offers. Living away from home has made me learn more about myself as a person and prepared me for life after uni. Through the course and support of lecturers I have learnt more than I thought possible about politics and has only increased my love and passion for the subject area.

What opportunities has studying at Southampton provided you with?

The careers fairs and support from student services really opened my eyes to what opportunities are out there after university and how sought after Southampton graduates are. I only wish I had used them more during my time here so please don’t make the same mistake as me!

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