Duncan Weaver - BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics (2010)
I joined SPGS in 2007, to read International Relations and Politics. Immediately, the course was a refreshing world away from Sixth Form. The mixture of lectures and seminars makes your first year particularly interesting. Lectures gave a great deal of breadth, covering a wide range of topics within the modules. Seminars provided scope for depth, and I often found myself getting into interesting debates with students and staff alike!
I opted for a dual honours course, which Keele has pioneered. This gave me the opportunity to study a diverse range of modules. The course was really stimulating, looking at the international system in theory and practice. I was able to consider hot topics in international politics from the very first term onwards - topics such as terrorism, foreign policy and climate change. This combination of IR and Politics proved excellent in my second and third years, when I found a great deal of connections between module topics.
Studying in SPGS lets you specialise in particular areas, especially as a final year student. I wouldn't be favouritist, but I thoroughly enjoyed Peace, Conflict and Security in my second year. This provided a strong foundation for my dissertation, which was a 10,000 word project on water security. If you become especially interested in a certain issue, pursue your interest - it may be worthwhile for your final year.
The variety of assessments available in SPGS means that you can develop your skills set as you study - a massive benefit for when you apply for jobs. Reading IR and Politics in SPGS is not just about writing typical essays and exams: I have given seminar talks, built a website, and participated in a diverse range of team projects.
As a first year student, Keele ticked all my boxes. A green campus community, Keele offers a real package. Everything you would possibly need is on campus, and the 'village' atmosphere is such that you will always bump into someone you know. Student facilities are great, and the student scene will mean you never find yourself bored.
University is what you make of it - the more you put in, the more you get out. Joining SPGS will provide you with the basis for a stimulating, challenging three years of undergraduate studies. You will be taught by experts in their field, and often you will be exposed to new ideas. Support for students - academic and personal - is excellent.