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School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study


Social Anthropology: Olivia

My name is Olivia and I’m in my 4th year of an MA in Social Anthropology. 

I’m taking Culture & Power; Kinship: Structure & Process; Belief, Thought & Language; Indigenous Politics and Culture & Screen in Canada alongside my dissertation.

I’ve always had an innate interest in people. Social Anthropology offered me the chance to explore the comparative study of human conduct and thought in a social context.

Also, I always wanted to travel and to see the world. The course offered me the chance to study abroad, to broaden my horizons and to experience indigenous culture.

I was an all-rounder at school, so Social Anthropology appealed to me because the content overlapped with several different subjects including sociology, human geography and development studies, as well as being linked to history and philosophy.

Honours degrees are designed to give you a broader and more flexible education. they allow you to try a range of subjects before specialising in your final two years.

The degree also offered me the chance to learn languages, including Latin, French and Spanish, which I’d always wanted to do!  

Anthropology 1A was one of my favourite courses; we had a fantastic lecturer who was engaging and inspiring but I also loved writing my dissertation because it gave me a real sense of achievement and pride.

Living in Edinburgh

The small city community of Edinburgh makes me feel at home and very safe in my surroundings.

It may be compact but it has all the attractions and facilities of a larger city including first-rate social, sporting and cultural opportunities as well as being voted one of the most desirable places to live in the UK.

Though I was very young and unworldly when I started university aged seventeen, I found it very easy to settle in because of the sense of community at Pollock Halls. I enjoyed it so much that I returned to be a resident assistant in fourth year. This was excellent for my interpersonal and leadership skills and gave me the opportunity to run for the Edinburgh Award.

I worked part-time during my first and second year; I just had to be realistic about my workload.

I also spent a year abroad at The University of Queensland which was an amazing experience. The lifestyle really suited me, I travelled South East Asia and New Zealand, I worked very closely as an ambassador and blogger for the International Office and I joined every society I could manage in the time I was there!

Olivia Hoppe