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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences Postgraduate study

Alice Murphy BSc Psychology, MSc Demography with Social Statistics, 2010

Senior Analyst,

Alice Murphy's Photo

Hi, I'm Alice Murphy and I studied BSc Psychology, MSc Demography within Social Sciences: Social Statistics & Demography at the University of Southampton.

It was a combination of a great reputation for teaching and research and an impressive campus, that made me choose Southampton.

Q: Why did you choose the University of Southampton?

Before applying for university, I looked into which universities had a good reputations for research, as well as teaching. As a Russell Group university, a group representing the top 20 research universities in the UK, Southampton seemed to really stand out. I visited Highfield Campus on an open day and was really impressed not only by the range of facilities but how pretty the campus was overall. It was a combination of a great reputation for teaching and research and an impressive campus that I could really see myself enjoying.

Q: How did you find studying Postgraduate Demography?

I have always felt able to talk to my academic supervisors whenever I've had a problem or needed advice about work, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Lecturers are always happy to answer questions during lectures – in fact, they really encourage it. During the final-year dissertation, my supervisor was really encouraging and enthusiastic about helping me get the most out of the project, which really spurred me to work hard. Lecturers and supervisors have always responded to emails quickly and most have office hours where you can drop in to talk informally about any issues you might have.

Q: What did you achieve as a result of Southampton?

My MSc has given me a number of desirable skills which helped me to get two internships during the Easter break, one with The Guardian and one with The Times . I was working with data journalists who publish interesting datasets, often with a demographic content. I was published on the Guardian's 'datablog' part of the news website, and given a small credit for additional research on a series of supplements containing data. Both places seemed impressed with my understanding of the concepts behind the data, which has come from staying on for an extra year and studying such an interesting topic.

Q: What did you enjoy most about studying at University of Southampton?

The thing I have enjoyed most about studying at Southampton has been being able to complete my courses alongside such interesting, like-minded and fun people. The University concourse is great for both studying and socialising. There are lots of green spaces, which are lovely in the summer. Southampton offers a high quality of teaching, reflected by the rankings it has received in university reviews.

Q: What plans do you have for after graduation?

I had never really thought about staying on after my undergraduate degree to study at masters level, but when I got to the end of my final year, I was sent details of a number of scholarship opportunities for students to study demography. As psychology is part of the social sciences, I was eligible to apply for the scholarship and my application was successful. Studying MSc Demography has really sparked my interest in international development.

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