A course that really suits my style of learning

Image of SMI student Ellie, with a city landscape in the background.
Ellie Painter
BA Applied Social Science with International Experience
Ellie talks about the reasons why she decided to study at SMI and how the course compliments her style of learning.

Why did you choose to study your course at the Sheffield Methods Institute?

Whilst I was applying to university I couldn't decide between studying Geography or Politics, so I chose SMI (Sheffield Methods Institute) because the flexibility of the BA Applied Social Sciences course appealed to me and I really liked Sheffield as a city.

What have you most enjoyed about your course?

At first, I wasn't sure what it would be like to study in such a small department, but it has become one of the things that I now love the most about it. This enables you to get really close with other students, have great opportunities and get to know most of the staff. I also really liked the variation in styles of assessment; in other departments, a lot of the assignments are essays and coursework, whereas in the SMI I have experienced building websites, doing group presentations, creating my own project on placement, creating posters, learning how to code, and more. This really aided my style of learning.

What opportunities did the department offer to prepare you for employment?

Lots of the skills that we were taught throughout the degrees make us very employable, and these skills were highlighted to us throughout our degrees. There are also a lot of opportunities to take advantage of, such as summer placements which also increase your employability, for example I got the opportunity to work for the housing charity Shelter last summer on a paid internship. Another opportunity that I found to be very rewarding was the optional SMI204 Placement module which enabled me to get experience of field research in second year. This was a unique opportunity which allowed me to work within the Sheffield community, and prepared me for my dissertation in final year.  

Find out more about Ellie's experience during her placement

Do you have any advice for students thinking about studying your course?

I think that it is important to ask current students about the course, such as at open days and visits, as there are lots of different elements to it that they can discuss in more detail with you. Also, to always reach out for help and to take advantage of office hours wherever possible!

Image of Charlie SMI Alumus sat in his office

Mae & Charlie are here to tell you more about Applied Social Sciences

Applied Social Sciences student Mae and alumnus Charlie will tell you what they enjoy most about the course, what skills they have learned and how it has helped develop their career.

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