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Student Testimonials

Eleanor Friel

PPES Graduate 2012 - Joint Honours Political Science and Sociology

eleanorHaving started my university life as a medical student, I never could have predicted that I would eventually graduate with a double honours degree in political science and sociology. Nonetheless, never have I regretted this change of track for the slightest moment. Particular highlights over my four years, for me, were the modules on European Societies in SF year, and Economic Sociology of Europe in SS year. Moreover, many of the topics I studied in sociology classes greatly complemented my coursework across political science, economics and philosophy. An Erasmus year at the University of Helsinki in Finland stands out as one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had. The Sociology Department was extremely helpful and encouraging in terms of facilitating exchanges.

Studying sociology has made me look at the world in new ways, and has given me analytical and critical thinking skills that have strongly stood to me in diverse positions thereafter, whether as a political intern in Sierra Leone, as a Masters student at the College of Europe or in my current role working in international development in Egypt.

Alan Walsh

PPES Graduate 2012 - Single Honours Economics

alanI was first attracted to the PPES programme at TCD due to the large variety encompassed within one course. The common first year exposes students to philosophy, political science, economics and sociology. I found this initial broad subject range extremely useful as it meant I could gain an overview of the social sciences and obtain experience in various different fields before specialising in the later years. As is the case with many students, I was by no means certain which direction I wanted to take with my studies when I first enrolled at TCD. When I began the PPES program, I was undecided whether I wanted to pursue a joint honours degree in political science and philosophy or to specialise by taking a single honours degree in one of these two subjects. However, as I moved through my studies I was somewhat surprised to find that my most natural intellectual fit was actually with economics. With this in mind, I was very grateful for the flexibility the PPES program afforded and I opted to pursue a single honours degree in economics by the time I reached my final year.

Generally speaking, I have found this particular degree to be the excellent foundation for my postgraduate life, given the wide range of subject matter I have been exposed to. More specifically, I have found that the skills I learned during my four years studying PPES (critical thinking, constructing arguments, comfort with mathematics and statistics...) to be the perfect preparation for the MSc in Economics I undertook last year at The University of Edinburgh.

Rebecca Kilbane

PPES Graduate 2012 - Joint Honours Political Science and Sociology

rebeccaOne of the main reasons I was attracted to PPES as a course was the opportunity to study in the Political Science Department in Trinity. First year provides a broad introduction to political science so you can get an excellent overview of the discipline. Having a broad knowledge of politics complemented my study of the three other disciplines I was studying. In second year I took International Relations and History of Political Thought, which allowed me to study the greatest historical and modern political scientists. The Political Science Department also allows you to choose from a number of great international universities where you can spend a year or semester abroad. I studied in the University of Copenhagen taking masters level classes in international ethics and peace & conflict studies. If you take politics with you until fourth year you must take Contemporary Politics Issues. This two-hour seminar allows students to make presentations on political issues they are passionate about helping students to develop strong communication skills. In fourth year students develop strong relationships with their lecturers who have weekly open room session to answer your questions and give advice and feedback on your work to ensure that you have the best chance of achieving the highest grades. Having a politics as part of my degree has equipped with me strong analytical and problem solving that are very attractive to employers.