I already feel equipped with lots more knowledge that I can use to help me with my dissertation

Sociological Studies student Daisy Dobson
Daisy Dobson
Undergraduate student
BA Sociology with Employment Experience
Daisy, A BA Sociology student, didn't originally plan to take a placement year but when a call for applications for Civil Service placements came around, she took the opportunity to apply. Now, Daisy is working as a social researcher in the Department of Work and Pensions.
Sociological Studies student Daisy Dobson

My placement this year is working in the Civil Service in the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). I am a social researcher for the DWP looking into the effects of the Universal Credit, which is the benefit people can claim whilst they are in or out of work. A project I am currently working on is researching claimants that have been directly affected by the pandemic. The role, more generally, involves planning and fulfilling research projects such as carrying out literature reviews, interviews and even being involved in the Government Social Research publication process. 

So far I am really enjoying my placement. The main challenge for me is that due to COVID-19, the placement has involved me working from home most of the time. However I am very lucky to have a very supportive and understanding department, which regularly checks to see how I am coping in the process of working from home. They have provided any equipment I may need and they also organise socially distanced meet ups and coffee stops. This has been very helpful in the process of settling into my placement in the absence of an office environment! As well as this, I would say adapting to working from home has helped me to learn a lot about how social research can also be adapted to online circumstances. Therefore, another highlight from this placement would be that I have learnt a great deal of new research methods.

I had not actually planned to take a placement year, however when the opening of applications for the Civil Service placements were circulated around the Department of Sociological Studies, I thought it would be a ridiculous opportunity to miss. I completed the application, not expecting much, and was then invited for an interview. I am very glad I took this opportunity and would advise students to take a placement year as it is a great experience and an amazing way to gain knowledge into the working world.

The advice I would give to students thinking of doing a placement would be to not be dissuaded by the current COVID-19 situation. Despite many things being held virtually and a lack of physical fieldwork, this is still a brilliant opportunity to learn new things and broaden your horizons. I have still very much enjoyed my placement so far and already feel equipped with lots more knowledge I can use to help me with my dissertation when third year comes around. 

Search for a course

Use our search to find the right course for you.