I feel confident to share my opinions in a supportive space, which has definitely developed my confidence in my chosen subjects.

Photo of undergraduate student Jennifer Varlow
Jenny Varlow
Final year undergraduate student
BA History and Politics
Dual student Jenny talks about how a wide range of module choices has allowed her to focus on her personal interests.
Photo of undergraduate student Jennifer Varlow

I study a dual degree, so it’s really interesting to see how the subjects overlap - I’ve learnt about the same events from two very different perspectives which definitely benefits me in both of my courses.

Jenny Varlow

BA History and Politics Student

Why did you choose to study at Sheffield?

I actually applied to Sheffield through clearing - I had originally applied to study Law however I changed my course last minute after realising it was what I was passionate about.

Has your experience so far been what you expected?

Even through the pandemic, the university exceeded my expectations in terms of my course delivery, as well as the general experience. Having just started my second year, I am fully settling in to university life and I’m really enjoying it - I had no reason to be nervous when I applied!

What do you particularly enjoy about your degree programme?

I love the flexibility that comes with my degree - I have a wide range of modules to choose from and freedom within those to study a specific area. This carries through to my assessments too, I really like that I have an element of choice in deciding what pieces I submit towards my final grade.

I study a dual degree, so it’s really interesting to see how the subjects overlap - I’ve learnt about the same events from two very different perspectives which definitely benefits me in both of my courses. For me, the best thing about humanities and social sciences is the level of discussion it provides. I really enjoy my seminars and the debates that come from those - and I feel intellectually stimulated in these types of environments. I feel confident to share my opinions in a supportive space, which has definitely developed my confidence in my chosen subjects.

What modules are you studying this year? Are there any modules that you have particularly enjoyed during your degree so far and why?

I am studying Historians and History, Gender and the Georgians and Gender and Sexuality in History, and Political Data, Oppression & Resistance and Human Rights in Politics. I find gender history incredibly appealing, and so I’ve really been enjoying Gender and the Georgians so far in semester one! The course content is super interesting, and I feel motivated to do further research within the topic.

In my first year, I studied Thatcherism as part of my core history module alongside my British politics module - this meant I was essentially developing my knowledge on the topic in two different disciplines which I thought was really fun.

If you're a dual student, what do you enjoy about doing a dual degree?

I like having a wide range of topics to study in both disciplines, as it allows me to focus on my personal interests. The two subjects overlap in content and academic skills, and so I often feel that I’m reinforcing the same skills and knowledge throughout both of my subjects. The university has been brilliant at coordinating the two subjects - I was concerned about being a member of two departments however I’ve had a completely positive experience and it’s given me double the opportunities in terms of career work, academic development and of course, the society socials!

What do you like about the University/living in Sheffield?

The university network feels so supportive and inclusive - whilst being a city campus, everything and everyone is close together, and there’s so many events run by the university and the SU that mean you feel connected. There’s so many societies and sports to get involved with, and as someone who loves to stay busy I’ve managed to fill every evening with an extra-curricular activity! Sheffield is a beautiful city to live in, and is so accessible for students. There’s so many shops/bars/restaurants within walking distance, and it’s always nice to get outside and go for a walk near the peaks too!

Anything else that you want to say?

I enjoy studying gender, both as a historical and political concept. The university has a wide range of modules relating to this, and I’ve been taught by incredible staff who are so passionate about the work that they create and teach. This has allowed me to pursue my passion for gender studies in both my subjects - and meant that I’ve been able to access brilliant opportunities relating to this through both departments.

Would you recommend studying at Sheffield to a friend?

Yes, definitely!

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