An Applied Social Science graduate will return for further study at the University of Stirling, having discovered a life-long passion for Sociology.
Jennifer Ferguson initially enrolled on an International Politics programme, but made the most of Stirling’s flexible degree system to switch her studies to Sociology at the end of her first year.
The 21-year-old received a First Class BA Honours degree in Sociology and Criminology and will enjoy an inter-rail break before beginning an MSc in Applied Social Research from September, followed by a PhD in Social Care.
“Sociology wasn’t a subject I had ever thought about before Stirling, but now I want to focus on it for the rest of my life,” said Jennifer, from Edinburgh, who has been awarded funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to continue her studies at Stirling.
“I’m so passionate about it and Stirling has a very interactive Sociology department and everyone was so welcoming, which made the degree a lot more enjoyable. I have absolutely loved it at Stirling. It has been a fabulous experience and I’ve learned so much.“
Jennifer fulfilled many roles whilst at Stirling, including two years as the School Officer, co-creator of the Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology Society and even Badminton Club President. Indeed, it was whilst training with the team on court she learned of her postgraduate funding application success.
She added: “I saw an email on my phone, it said I’d got it. I burst into tears and laughter at exactly the same time. I love fitness and being at the University of Stirling makes it easy to stay fit as I am able to go to the gym, the swimming pool and cycle to and from the campus.”
Jennifer has her sights set on a future in social research and hopes her PhD, which will focus on improving access to care homes for the elderly, can make a positive contribution to society.
She said: “People are disadvantaged by their social class and it affects what level of care they receive, and fundamentally, that can affect their well-being. People going into care homes now are the most vulnerable, often disabled, and highly likely to have dementia.
“The University is home to the Dementia Services Development Centre so my research will hopefully benefit from this expertise and the links between the Centre and the Faculty of Social Sciences.
“Hopefully something good will come out of it and I can make a difference to society. That’s where you can make the biggest impact: taking your academic knowledge and disseminating it and making partnerships with other institutions; getting your research out there and making sure it doesn’t lie on a shelf.”
Other Alumni from 2015