James Richard White
BESS Graduate 2012, works in the not-for-profit sector
I chose Sociology because I am interested in people, society and what happens to us.
The Sociology department in Trinity College, through a wide and topical range of modules, explained how the great sociological thinkers predicted the ills of modern society from social isolation to empty hospital wards. It explored the power, energy and potential of open source computing and modern interactive technology as the audience interacts to itself. It charted the decline of Russia as it moved overnight from communism to the free market economy. It questioned the future, will and can India become the next China? Will the internet undermine traditional communities? It explained the underlying reasons why European societies are culturally so different. It tackled the big social issues of conflict, race, migration, gender and popular culture. It thought me how to understand, research and explain all of these topics in a logical organised fashion.
Sociology is sold short. We now hear that it is not about the economy it is about Society. If you care about society, our society, Sociology in Trinity College will make you think critically, question widely and challenge the important issues. That is a good choice for you and for a future employer.
Peter Robert Gardner
BESS Graduate 2012, currently enrolled in the MPhil in Race, Ethnicity, Conflict
I was originally attracted to the BESS programme because it would provide me with a broad base of subjects in junior freshman year (with modules in Economics, Sociology, Business, Political Science, and a choice between law and a language) whilst allowing me to specialise in a single subject by senior sophister year. I came to Trinity planning to study economics, however I found the senior freshman modules in sociology ('Anthropology of Gender' and 'European Societies') so fascinating that I decided to change to single honours sociology.
Sociology alters the lens through which we view the world. It provides us with a means of critically taking apart everything held to be obvious or normal in society, and so to better understand social phenomena. Sociology at Trinity supplied me with the chance to take apart issues of race, ethnicity, gender, popular culture, globalisation, developing societies, migration patterns and conflict zones. After graduating I decided to continue studying sociology at Trinity, taking a masters in Race, Ethnicity, Conflict, and I hope to pursue a career in academics. Through the lectures, reading material, discussions with students and lecturers, and the general academic environment, Sociology at Trinity has been invaluable to me in my development.
Sociology and Social Policy Graduate 2012, currently enrolled in the MSc in Human Resource Management at UCD
Like many of my contemporaries, my CAO form was subject to last minute revisions and additions as I blitzed my way through course prospecti before settling on my final choice of a BA in Sociology and Social Policy. Crucially, in both the first and second year of this programme, students are deliberately exposed to subjects across the social sciences such as political science, economics as well as introductory modules in law and languages. This allows the student to gain experience within a wide range of subjects, something I found invaluable in attempting to narrow my post- graduate options following my final exams.
I personally found that the final two years of the programme were characterised by smaller, more intimate classes that attempted to challenge the student intellectually and encourage problem solving and critical thinking skills in terms of thinking about contemporary society. In terms of my own learning experiences, I found that the final year dissertation was invaluable in terms of enabling the student to create an original piece of research and develop core research skills as well as improving literacy skills. Indeed, overall the BA in Sociology and Social Policy provided me with the core competencies and skills that allowed me to pursue a Master's degree.