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Graduation stories - from clearing to First Class Honours

13 August 2015

Catherine Law came to Abertay through clearing, having realised that the courses she’d applied for through UCAS were not what she truly wanted to pursue.

Here, she tells us about the experience, and how her decision to come to Abertay was the best one she could have made.

Find out which courses are available now on our clearing page.

Fashion design or fighting injustice?

“I knew I wanted a career that helped people, but during Sixth Year I was also interested in fashion design. I applied for various art schools, but shortly after I realised this was not where my heart lies and it was the sociology route I wanted to take instead.

“I was always interested in the world around me and wanted to learn more about how it worked and why there was injustice, so I could learn how to help solve it.

“Unfortunately, by the time I’d realised this, it was too late to apply for uni and over the next few months I began to feel low and worried about my future. That was until results day when I saw that Abertay had clearing places in the exact subject I wanted to do. Within half a day I was given a place!”

Choosing Abertay

“I chose Abertay because, after looking on the website, all the modules in every semester had so many interesting options. I also liked the thought of being at a small university with staff that were keen to support students. And it was a bonus that my granddad studied there, and my dad received his degree there too! So it was nice to keep the tradition in the family.

“I would definitely encourage other students to study at Abertay – I couldn't recommend it enough! To anyone going through clearing and feeling nervous or apprehensive – don’t worry! It will be the best decision you make, especially if you are making the move to the city.

“Dundee is a great place to be a student and Abertay is a really friendly university with a supportive Student Services team if you ever need them. Everyone I know has made so many friends and memories at Abertay that will last a lifetime, myself included.

“I came to uni having never studied sociology before and even though at times it was tough, I came out with a First Class Honours degree! So if any prospective students are worried about it being too tough, they don't need to worry as help is always at hand.”

Challenging stereotypes

“Although my course was mostly classroom and theory based I volunteered at Dundee Foodbank, as well as the local charity 18&Under, and Fixers UK, where I created a short film to challenge the stereotype of young mums. This was actually filmed at Abertay! And it even got some local media attention on Tay FM and in The Courier!

“My dissertation title was ‘The “Women's Vote”: how did each of the two campaigns use gender stereotypes in an attempt to persuade female voters in the Scottish independence referendum?’ It analysed media genres for their use of gender stereotypes, and found that both sides used various techniques in attempts to persuade the 'undecided' majority of women throughout their campaigns.

“As it was a contemporary issue, I got to do lots of new research and I loved it! Although at times it was testing, as it was the first time I'd ever done any research before.”

Inspiring lecturers

“I had some great lecturers. I really liked Dr Christos Memos. His passion for his subject and his students was really inspiring – I was so glad I got to be taught by him. He made all of the students feel like individuals – I don't know anybody that doesn't love him!

“I also really enjoyed Dr Monish Bhatia's lectures, particularly about genocide. I only wish he was at the university earlier so I could've learned more from him! Dr Wallace McNeish is also a brilliant lecturer and Dr Jim Moir was a fantastic project supervisor – I wouldn't have made it through my dissertation without him.”

Next steps

“Now I've graduated I'm currently working in Edinburgh until September, when I will be moving to Glasgow to do a Masters in Criminal Justice & Penal Change.

“After this I'll be looking into PhDs across the UK and Europe, as well as jobs in my chosen career path. My dream role would be to help as many people as possible, particularly with regards to social justice. To do so, I am interested in a career based in academia, policy, advocacy and education.”

Congratulations to Catherine on her degree! And good luck with everything in the future.

To find out more about our sociology degree please visit our course pages:

  • BSc (Hons) Sociology

To see which courses have places available in clearing, head to our dedicated clearing page.

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