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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political SciencesUndergraduate study

Kenny McCarthy BSc Applied Social Sciences (Anthropology), 2013

Action and Research Coordinator at the RSA

Kenny McCarthy's Photo

Hi, I'm Kenny McCarthy and I studied BSc Applied Social Sciences (Anthropology) within Social Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Studying at Southampton pushed me out of my comfort zone and it did push me to achieve a first class honours, something I thought was impossible after my first year.


Why did you choose to undertake your studies in Applied Social Sciences at the University of Southampton?

I chose to study Anthropology at the University of Southampton because I really liked the vibe of the campus and could picture myself studying there. The course looked really interesting and it was one of the few universities that did Social and Cultural Anthropology.

What did you enjoy about studying Applied Social Sciences at Southampton?

Studying Applied Social Sciences was perfect for me. My interests lie in people and the way they live, from different cultures to the belief systems which are such a fundamental aspect of so many people's lives. Studying Anthropology covered all aspects of everyday life and has been very flexible, allowing me to tailor my studies to explore my own interests. Although primarily studying Anthropology, I took modules in Psychology, Sociology, Criminology and Statistics. This diversity is a real strength giving me a broad perspective of each discipline and its own unique strengths and limitations.

What have you been able to achieve as a result of studying at the University of Southampton?

What I have enjoyed most about studying at Southampton has been the opportunity to meet new people and experience new things. Studying at Southampton pushed me out of my comfort zone and although the work was intense at times it did push me to achieve a first class honours, something I thought was impossible after my first year. As well as academic success, studying at Southampton allowed me to have the opportunity to play regular competitive football, playing for the social sciences football team. I also took part in the Graduate Passport Scheme; successfully completing it this year. I was also lucky enough to get a place on an Intensive Spanish course sponsored by Santander and complete Third Sector Training funded by the University. The University of Southampton has therefore provided a platform for me to get involved in a whole host of amazing experiences which have been fantastic and will prove invaluable for the future.

Can you tell us about your experiences on the Excel Placement Scheme?

My degree has developed my communication and research skills having carried out interviews for my dissertation as well as engaging in regular debate in seminars. I had the opportunity through Social Sciences to take on a work placement with a local development charity, Community Action Hampshire. I worked as a researcher mapping the food banks in Hampshire and the research has already attracted a lot of interest, including on Twitter. As a result of my experience I won The Careers and Employability Service Excel Placement Award for Self-Management beating 40 other interns. I was really surprised to win the Award. The biggest challenge of the placement was stepping out of my comfort zone, conducting interviews and communicating with a diverse range of people. Having complete autonomy challenged me to push myself.

After graduating, Kenny travelled to India as part of the Study India Programme, to learn about Indian culture and take a placement with an Indian based NGO.

He is currently Action and Research Coordinator at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)

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