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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

Emmie Jo Collins

BA (Hons) Sociology
Graduated 2023

Three students sat near a fountain

Why did you choose Solent?

Solent was only about an hour away from where I grew up, and I knew of and liked Southampton. Solent genuinely cares about issues that are important to me, such as gender equality and LGBTQ+. Additionally, the facilities were/are modern and really stood out. My auntie had also attended Solent for university in the late 90s!

What was best thing about your course lecturers?

All the lecturers who taught me over my three years at Solent were fantastic. Each of them boasted specific fields of sociological expertise, providing invaluable knowledge for a range of modules throughout my studies. What stands out is the fact that lecturers were all so genuinely passionate about what was being taught.

The library is fantastic, and my friends and I spent many days and evenings there using the group rooms! The library also provided a free taxi service at night, which shows a genuine care for the well-being of students.

How do you feel your studies have prepared you for a career in the industry?

My studies have allowed me to access a career path that I wouldn’t have been able to follow prior to getting a degree. I work in income protection, and this involves dealing with caseloads that have people off work for medical and social reasons. My sociology degree allowed me to cultivate a deep understanding of social structures, institutions, and their impact on individuals and communities. This knowledge is crucial when evaluating the social determinants of health, income disparities, and the vulnerabilities individuals and groups may face. Thanks to what I’ve learned as part of my degree, I can better assess the risks and needs of clients seeking income protection.

What aspect of your degree did you like the most?

What really stood out during my sociology degree was the emphasis on critical thinking. I was encouraged to question assumptions, challenge prevailing narratives, and seek evidence to support or challenge arguments. This analytical mindset allowed me to approach complex issues with a discerning eye and develop well-rounded perspectives. I learned to consider multiple viewpoints, critically evaluate information, and construct well-supported arguments—a skill set that has been invaluable in both academic and personal contexts.

What’s next for you?

I have just started my graduate job working in assessment and investigation for Aviva within income protection. I was also offered a position within Hampshire Constabulary (police), and a domestic violence charity. A sociology degree can lead to many types of jobs and careers.

Do you have any tips for students who might want to get into the industry?

Just that it's okay to not know exactly what you want to do! I wasn’t expecting or planning to enter the career that I have just started, but I love it. There are so many options out there. However, I would say certainly that sociology has proven to be a relevant degree for my career as it is broad and relevant to so many different things.