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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political SciencesUndergraduate study

Rupert Bailey BSc Politics and International Relations, 2013

Head of Police Discipline, UK Home Office

Rupert Bailey's Photo

Hi, I'm Rupert Bailey and I studied BSc Politics and International Relations within Social Sciences at the University of Southampton.

I think the department we’ve got here in Politics and International Relations is fantastic. They are very welcoming, they’ve got a great breadth of expert knowledge, and I think they are going from strength to strength in terms of the experts that are joining the team.

Q: Why did you choose Southampton to study?

For me, I think, it was the combination of Politics and International Relations that I was looking for and not many universities offered it.  Southampton just stood out as a really great university. I came down to visit before making my final choice and just being here on campus, I got a really good feel about the university, it had a really great department, and the variety of modules that they offered was very impressive. It was quite a clear choice.

Q: What have you enjoyed most about your time here?

Oh, that's a difficult one. It's a combination of having the experience of learning all the different areas of the subject and getting a sense of the wide range of everything that's going on in the world of Politics and International Relations, but also just enjoying university life. I got involved in extracurricular activities such as the Student's Union, and made the most of my three years here, doing as much as I could to have a great time and enjoy it, but also studied hard to come out with a good degree and be well prepared for the world of work.

Q: Can you tell us a little more about what you did with the Student Union?

I got involved with the Student Politics in my first year here; starting off with the Union Council which is the big decision making body within the Student’s Union and then during my final year, I was one of the Student Trustees at the Union, where I oversaw all the areas of governance involved with the Union itself and again made some of the highest decisions for the organisation as a whole.

Q: What do you feel you have achieved during your studies?

I suppose it’s all about progressing as an individual and gaining all the academic skills that would be useful in the future. I think it’s a very clear process of maturing, finding out about yourself, finding out about the world and really experiencing the whole world of University and perhaps the real world for the first time.


Q: Have you done any work placements or internships while you’ve been here?

Yes. I’ve been quite fortunate really. I’ve been on a few different schemes and placements. Outside the University in my first year I was involved in the Census in 2011; working quite heavily in the Southampton area.  Then in my second to third years, I went through the University’s internship scheme; the Excel Scheme. I started off working in Ordnance Survey for four weeks, which is based here in Southampton where I had a great time there getting to know the world of corporate governance and working for a government agency and then last summer I worked in Manchester with a national charity called Turning Point who work in the social sector, where I wokred in areas of development and growth. I also had the opportunity to study abroad whilst I was here.

Q: What are your plans for the future now that you’ve graduated?

Now I’ve graduated, I’m having a summer off, just to relax a bit after all the hard work and stress of the final year, but in September I start with the Civil Service fast stream,  where I’ll be working initially for the Ministry of Justice with their legal aid services in Central London. It’s a great programme, very competitive, but very worthwhile to get involved in and it spans over four years, doing different placements in different government departments and organisations, so I’m looking forward to a new challenge. I’ll be sad to leave Southampton because I’ve had a great experience here, with many happy memories but onwards and upwards, as they say.

Q: What skills do you think you’ve gained in Southampton that you’ll take forward to your future role?

I think there’s self-reliance, and the combination of the self-study and the placements that I’ve done have taught me a lot about being professional, making the most of your time and being able to go out and research, understand problems, use analysis to really come to some quite strong conclusions based on the evidence that’s presented in an articulate fashion, whilst gaining a lot of confidence over the years.

Q: Why would you encourage other people to come to the University of Southampton?

For me, I suppose, it’s a bit of a biased answer, but it’s been my home for the last three years, and I’ve really felt that very strongly. It’s such a welcoming environment; I think the department we’ve got here in Politics and International Relations is fantastic. Again, they are very welcoming, they’ve got a great breadth of expert knowledge, and I think they are going from strength to strength, in terms of the experts that are joining the team, and I’ve really enjoyed that side of things. As well as life on campus, it’s a beautiful green campus, blessed today with the weather, it’s just amazing, but typical of what it’s been over the last three years.  Southampton is just a great city and a fantastic university.

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