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School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study


Social Policy: Shannon

My name is Shannon and I’m in my 3rd year of an MA in Social Policy and Law. 

I’m taking Designing and Doing Social Research, The Politics of British Public Services, Analytical Perspectives in Social Policy, Social Inequality and the Life Course and Criminology. 

I wanted my education and university experience to include a global perspective, which the University of Edinburgh provides. There are infinite opportunities to learn more about world issues in class, through societies, and just by talking to other students. 

I’ve always wanted to help improve people’s lives through good governance, and the MA Honours in Social Policy and Law gives me all the knowledge and skills I need to do that. My programme is incredibly diverse; I can choose whether I want to study a specific area of policy; policy in the UK or abroad; or the formation or effects of policy. I’m getting an education tailored to my interests and goals. 

The academic year has two semesters running from September to January and January to May with coursework throughout and any exams taking place in December and in April/May. 

My courses have a good balance of learning through taught classes and independent research. I really enjoyed Designing and Doing Social Research. The course gives you the chance to conduct your own research project from start to finish on a topic of your choice. I learned more in that semester than I thought was possible!

Living in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a beautiful city full of history and nature. It has all the opportunities and activities of a big city, but it feels like living in a small town. It’s very student-oriented and is a great place to study.

I love how easy it is to get around. You can get anywhere you need to on foot within the city. Edinburgh is also a great place for avid travellers; I’ve seen so much of the UK by train. 

I lived in Pollock Halls in my first year and it was a good transition year between having the comforts of home and being completely independent. It was a good way to meet other students and make friends. 

Societies have been the most memorable part of university for me - it's where I've met my closest friends and learned the most about myself. 

I’ve been involved in the Debates Union since my first week at university. The skills I’ve learned there have helped me so much in my degree, and I love the intellectual challenge of debating. It has also given me a chance to travel around the UK and Europe for competitions - I’ve been everywhere from Dundee to Belgrade.

The few years you’re at university are such a unique and important part of your life, and I’m so glad I decided to spend them at Edinburgh. The university really has something for everyone, and you can shape your own experience to whatever you want it to be.

Shannon Turner