Here you can find out what students in the Department of Sociology think about the benefits of studying for a postgraduate degree and what they have gained at York.
In my stereotypical image of a scientist, I pictured a lonely figure studying in solitude. Luckily for me, studying a PhD here at York is full of life, engagement and closer to ‘working with people’ than I had imagined.
My PhD revolves around one core question: How do people experience coincidences in their everyday lives? Analysing talk using conversation analysis, I analyse how people make sense of these often life-changing experiences.
Not only does my research therefore focus on human interaction, but also not a day passes without truly interesting conversations. I have regular meetings with my supervisor who, a key expert in his field, stimulates and challenges my thinking and writing. Teaching undergraduate students fills my days with a buzz. And then there is the Postgraduate Village, the hub for the PhD students, where students from around the world share offices and a common room, and share experiences and laughs while studying.
Having previously studied my undergraduate degree here at York at this department, I can say that staff are friendly and supportive and York is a truly intellectually inspiring environment. Having left my hometown Hamburg three and a half years ago to come here, I can say with absolute confidence it was worth the move.
My research looks at experiences of ageing in northern cities, and how polities can better respond to the needs of ageing populations. I'm particularly interested in issues of urban design, housing, and infrastructure. This research is supported not only by my main supervisors, but by my colleagues in the Centre for Urban Research (CURB) where I am a Postgraduate Associate.
I've been in York (on and off) since 2004, and every year I've grown more attached to the city and the university. It's a beautiful, serene environment in which to grow as a researcher, and you have can count on the support of both the academic and administrative staff here to ensure you get the most out of your studies. The department is serious about supporting your intellectual development, and there is no shortage of both postgraduates and staff willing to have a coffee and talk through your ideas. My first love, however, has always been teaching, and at York I've had opportunities to indulge this passion through paid seminars, lectures, and workshops both in the Sociology department and at the Centre for Lifelong Learning.
My research considers the nature of resistance in a society of political consensus and how ‘change’ might be able to be brought about by social movements (such as Occupy).
Sociology at York has a vibrant academic culture reflected well in the post-graduate community, with plenty of opportunity to discuss ideas and draw links across a plethora of interests. All members of the department are supportive and friendly with most operating an ‘open door’ policy that fosters an open and lively atmosphere between staff and students. Whatever your interest, there is some cutting edge sociology at York to indulge in, regularly entering into contemporary theoretical and methodological debates on both national and international levels.
My research examines the implementation and practice of the cultural policy of Mexico City, concerning arts education and creativity. More specifically, I conducted fieldwork for a year in a cultural institution, where I examined its everyday practice concerning arts education and creativity, identities and representation.
I originally started my studies at the University of Manchester where I completed a Masters in Anthropological Research, then I had the opportunity to continue my studies with Sharon Macdonald at the University of York. I joined the department of Sociology in 2012 and should say this experience has been rewarding since I have been able to increase my knowledge in the field of Sociology.
The meetings with my supervisor have enabled me to develop my research progressively. Also, the staff members and my colleagues are supportive and friendly. Thanks to the seminars and other activities - undertaken by staff and students - I have been supported intellectually. The university is beautiful and there are always many activities to do here. It provides an inspiring environment.
My current MA taught me more about the practicalities and issues with doing real fieldwork; it also gave me more insight into the historical links between theoretical and philosophical positions and methods for researching the social world.
The sociology department here at York had a number of courses that enabled me to pursue my interest in new media technologies and the internet. By the end of my second year, the staff here had helped me to cultivate my own ideas about new media and how to do carry out research. It was this coming together of my own sociological interests and the York department’s cultivating ethos towards students that encouraged me to stay on and do postgraduate study.
My part time PhD is in class, educational achievement, and the changing relationship between education and work in a meritocratic society. My job in the University's support sector involves shift work, so I can fit my studies around it, and it is sufficiently flexible to allow me to pursue other interests in my studies, such as tutoring first year seminars.
I chose York because it has such a strong research reputation, and I have always been made to feel like a part of the team. I chose my course to enable me to research the things that interest me, and as the next step in beginning an academic career.
As a postgraduate you are given more responsibility and treated very much like a member of staff rather than a student. The advantages of studying here are numerous; it encourages depth and breadth of knowledge, as well as enhancing my own skills both in terms of academic and interpersonal abilities.