"Be confident in your own values and beliefs, while being open to new and different ways of thinking and seeing the world around you. Challenge the opinion, not the person."

Sociological Studies student Cameron Baker
Cameron Baker
Current MA Social Work student
BA Sociology graduate
2018
Cameron studied his undergraduate in the department and decided to stay and further his studies in MA Social Work. Read about his experiences as a Sheffield student, why he decided to stay and do a Masters degree and what he enjoys most about postgraduate study in his case study below.

Why did you choose to study your particular course?

Social work has always been a career that I have wanted to pursue because it seems to be the most humanistic and understanding career that also connected with my personal values and ideas. After doing some research, I believed that doing a Master’s would be beneficial for me as it opens more doors for you geographically; it makes it more accessible to work abroad in other countries, which is a future goal of mine.

What attracted you to the University of Sheffield?

While I don’t fully agree with league tables, it did seem to score very high within the country. I also did my undergraduate here and it just seemed to be the right decision to continue my studies at Sheffield as they really take the time to consider the views of their students. Additionally, I chose it because it has the perfect distance from my hometown.

What do you enjoy most about your course?

I love the diversity! The people here come from a variety of cultures both within the UK and globally, and there are a variety of ages too, which sparks more interesting and engaging discussions. This makes a massive difference to our academic contact hours and makes the information that we are learning more interesting and allows us to be more critical.

sheffield city centre - peace gardens

What is Sheffield like to live in? Do you like the city?

Sheffield is the hidden gem of Yorkshire and, I would even say, The North. The city is beautiful and has plenty of stuff going on, while at the same time possessing a local community vibe. It has an incredibly diverse nightlife, the amazing peak district and is located in the middle of the country, which makes it so easy to access transport and travel anywhere.

What are your ambitions for the future? How do you think the course has prepared you for this?

I would like to work abroad for some time and within my chosen career. The course has allowed me to understand the diversity of the world and to take a critically positive outlook on the society we live in, wider cultures and people. It has given me the ability to understand the differences and the core values of being human, which is a trait anyone should have if they are wanting to work abroad. I feel that I can present information and findings in a variety of ways because of the different types of assessments I’ve done, such as writing reports, public speaking and online.

Do you have any advice for students thinking about doing Sociology at Sheffield?

Be confident in your own values and beliefs, while being open to new and different ways of thinking and seeing the world around you. Challenge the opinion, not the person.

What has been the main highlight from your time studying here so far?

Apart from meeting all of my new friends and having the times and memories we share, I actually really enjoyed the dissertation. I took an idea that I was passionate about and did my own research and feel incredibly proud of what I produced.

Sociological Studies student Cameron Baker handing in his dissertation

Did you get involved with the Sociology Society? If so, what would you say to prospective students about the society and how it helped you?

Of course I did! I joined in my first year to meet people on my course and department and have my friends for life now. I then went on to be the Social Secretary and in third year the President. The society is an amazing group of people who are really passionate about supporting one and other. They have amazing events planned throughout the year but also take the wellbeing of their members extremely seriously that being academically, personally or at university as a whole. It was probably the best decision I made at my time at university and I fully believed it shaped the person I am at the end of my time as an undergraduate.

Can you share your experiences of the support you received either from academics or professional services staff within the department or within the University?

The academics are really warm and approachable people who want you to come here and strive and if you need support, advice and guidance they are always open to seeing you. They want your academic experience to be a positive one and will do everything they can to help you get through it.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about your time studying in the Department of Sociological Studies?

The department are just incredible. They have been fantastic in my three years as an undergraduate, which was enough for me to want to continue here for another two. I haven’t heard anyone talk about how a department are so student orientated than the Department of Sociological Studies; they genuinely want your time here at the university and in the department to be the most enjoyable.

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