Student Profiles

Sophie Hughes (Morfa Bychan) – BA Cymdeithaseg a Pholisi Cymdeithasol (BA Sociology and Social Policy)

“The three years I’ve spent in Bangor have been pure enjoyment. The social life was brilliant, even though Bangor is a smaller city compared to other university cities. This allows potential for a more tight-knit community.

My main reason for choosing Bangor was the excellent provision for Welsh-medium study, and, of course, the university’s reputation. Additionally, Bangor was the only institution to offer a course which sounded so appealing and interesting. I had never studied the subject before so opting for this particular course was a bit of a risk – but a risk that paid off! I enjoyed the course thoroughly, particularly the wide range of subjects, the intimacy of lectures and seminars, the close and easy-going relationship between lecturers and students, and the support available at any given time.

From September, I will study Bangor’s Masters programme in Language Policy and Planning. Although I am not going straight into work, I feel that I would be ready to do that thanks to the School. I am open to any opportunities that come my way – after my Masters, I may go straight into the world of work, or stay on and do a PhD – who knows!

I believe that studying at Bangor has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It has enabled me to develop and mature, and I now feel sufficiently independent to face the future. I truly believe that I have developed as a person since coming to Bangor.”


Sioned Williams (Edern) – BA Cymdeithaseg a Pholisi Cymdeithasol (BA Sociology and Social Policy)

“I loved my course, not only because I was able to study entirely through the medium of Welsh, but also because the classes tend to be comparatively small – as a result, there was a better connection with lecturers and more support available. Also, the subjects studied – ranging from criminology to language planning – were interesting, and provided a clear portrayal of contemporary Wales.

The support received from lecturers was excellent – they were always ready to help, whether face to face or through email. Now, I intend to return to Bangor to study the MA in Language Policy and Planning.”


Rhys Taylor (Pontypridd) – BA History and Social Policy

“I loved my course because it allowed me to study things that I was genuinely interested in, in addition to modules that were considered necessary for the field of research. There was so much choice as to what to study. Both Schools have brilliant staff who are always willing to help and give advice, and the majority of them have practical experience or research activity in the areas in which they teach.

For me, the highlight of my degree was the dissertation. It allowed me to research a field in which I was really interested and gave me the opportunity to put into practice everything that I had learnt during my first two years.

I chose Bangor because none of the other universities offering this course offered the same standard of Welsh provision. Bangor is a lovely place to live. There is a lot to do in the city and the surrounding area, and so many new opportunities to take advantage of.”  


Eira Winrow (Bangor) – BA Health & Social Care and Social Policy

“As a mother of two young children, Bangor was an obvious and convenient choice for me. Leaving my career to return to studying was a major decision – as was balancing my studies with my family life – but it has been the best decision I have ever made.

The course has really challenged me on many levels. As a mature student, I never thought I would achieve so much academically, and the course has also made me question my opinions of society and the world around me. I particularly enjoyed the variation of topics in the first year – this allowed me to explore my real passions within the Social Sciences subject area, and it was fascinating to see how all the different facets, from criminology to poverty and social exclusion, linked up.

As all my lectures were on the main campus, there was a real community feel. The administrative staff were a fantastic support to all students and the Management Centre café made a great meeting point, as there was always someone with whom to have a coffee and discuss the course.”


Heledd Medi Williams (Bala) – BA Cymdeithaseg a Pholisi Cymdeithasol (BA Sociology and Social Policy)

“I chose Bangor because it offered more facilities for Welsh-medium study than any other university, and allowed me to attend lectures and submit my work through the medium of Welsh.

My course looked at different aspects of society and the policies that are needed to tackle social problems. The broad range of modules meant I could keep my options open, which was useful considering I hadn’t settled upon a definite career path before coming to university.

During my studies I was lucky enough to spend six weeks on a work placement with North Wales Police. I was able to take a look at different departments, and the experience proved particularly beneficial in terms of a project I was working on at the time. One especially memorable aspect of the placement was a visit to Altcourse Prison in Liverpool – something I’ll never forget.

The next step for me is to progress onto the MA in Social Work here at Bangor, with the ambition of becoming a social worker here in North Wales.”


Sarah Birtwistle (Leeds) - BA Sociology

“Bangor had been one of my original choices when I applied through UCAS in 2009. I was lucky enough to be offered a place but it was not one of my top choices, which on reflection I now regret. However, I was lucky enough to be offered a place here, and for me, coming to Bangor has been a fairytale. I would change nothing about the circumstances in which it happened and I am just very thankful for the opportunity that the University gave me – it has been one of the best decisions ever!

Studying the BA in Sociology has been a fabulous experience. I couldn’t have asked for better support, both academically and personally. The staff have been nothing but helpful in my studies, and have allowed me to excel to help me reach my potential. All lectures are interesting and focused but also relaxed, making the learning environment comfortable.

As for the location, I’ve loved everything about living in Bangor. It boasts some of the most beautiful scenery and everywhere is so accessible (especially Beaumaris and Llandudno – two of my favourite places!). It is wonderful to be able to live somewhere that’s widely regarded as a relaxed holiday destination. Through living in Bangor I’ve met the people I now call my best friends.

To others going through the Clearing process, I would highly recommend Bangor – I can guarantee that you will do no less than love it! I don’t have a bad word to say about my experience – in fact, I’m planning on staying on here to pursue a postgraduate course.”


Owen Ladds (Lancashire) – BA Criminology and Criminal Justice

"I chose Bangor because I wanted to go to a University that was surrounded by beautiful scenery, near to the sea and situated in an area with friendly people. I had been searching high and low and then I came across Bangor. I fell in love with it from the moment I saw it. Walking to lectures and seminars surrounded by stunning scenery and seeing the sun gleaming over the tops of the mountains and reflecting on the sea… there is nowhere else like it!

The BA Criminology and Criminal Justice is really interesting. It’s not just about Crime, it covers major factors which can lead to crime such as poverty, race, social perspectives, class divisions and how it has all evolved over the past 200 years. Before coming to Bangor I worked for Greater Manchester Police, and I can certainly relate my experiences with the Police to my degree and vice versa. In the Police you have to be open-minded and look at every angle in detail and be able to get your point across – my degree is exactly like this. I plan to join North Wales Special Constabulary next year whilst continuing with my studies. I think it will continue to give me a greater insight into the criminal mind and will help me through my course. In the future I intend to return to the Police and spend my life doing the job I’ve always wanted to do.

Although there have been many highlights to studying at Bangor – including Freshers’ week, making fantastic friends and a great social life – I would have to say a personal high point was when I got my final set of results back from my assignments and they were all really good grades!"


Gabriella Simak (Canada) – MA Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice

“I chose Bangor primarily because of the degree course in Criminology and the faculty’s reputation for research of international excellence. The location in North Wales is breathtaking and the cost of living is very reasonable, which also had a strong influence on my decision.

I love the compact size of Bangor: everything is within walking distance, and you always run into someone you know in the street. There is so much to see and do in Bangor and its nearby towns – I love the scenery, especially that of Snowdonia National Park.

As an international student, I have received a lot of support from the University’s International Student Support Office and the International Student Ambassadors, who offer one-to-one support. The staff within the School itself are very supportive and helpful; being a small school, interactions with staff are much more personal – the lecturers here actually know your name! 

There are so many opportunities be part of the student community at Bangor and to take part in trips, clubs and societies. My advice would be to get involved as much as you can: do your research, talk to people, but most of all, have fun!”


Helen Williams - MA Language Policy and Planning

"After obtaining an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Linguistics and travelling around the world, I decided that I wanted to return to education. Bangor was an obvious choice because of its location and the fact that I wanted to study through the medium of Welsh. 

I’m really interested in minority languages and the MA Language Policy and Planning suited that interest to a tee. I took modules from Law and Linguistics as well as Social Sciences, and studying these different disciplines helped me to understand the different attitudes towards minority languages in terms of their usage, the rights to use them and their effect on society. As the MA course is relatively new, I am confident that it will help me secure employment in the language planning field." 


Sian Pritchard - MA Language Policy and Planning

“I studied the MA Language Policy and Planning course after completing my Welsh degree at Bangor. The support I received from staff was incredible and it was this support that enabled me to see the degree right through to the end, despite some difficult personal circumstances. Opportunities to participate in lectures and to meet industry experts really helped us to identify and understand different aspects of language policy. I conducted research into Welsh in dementia care centres, and although the staff didn’t have experience in this particular area, they were happy to support me to undertake the research of my choice.

In my job as an Instructor/Assesser in Health & Social Care at Coleg Menai, the course has been useful in enabling me to support candidates through the medium of their chosen language in accordance with the college’s language policy. In the future, I hope to combine my interest in the health and care sector with language policy so that I can use what I’ve learnt to improve health and care services for patients.

I spent some happy years at Bangor University and I would highly recommend the MA Language Policy and Planning course to anyone with an interest in the field of language policy and/or the position of the Welsh language.”


Lowri Cunnington Wyn (Blaenau Ffestiniog) - PhD student

"Having previously been an undergraduate at the School of Social Sciences, I felt it offered the support and encouragement needed to pursue postgraduate study through the medium of Welsh.

The School offers support on so many levels, from advice networks to entertainment and social events. It also offers many opportunities such as seminars, work experience and the chance to be published. I’d recommend students to take full advantage of all that is offered.

Studying at Bangor has provided a fantastic and supportive launchpad for my future work. I’ve been fortunate enough to secure funding from the Welsh Language Board for my PhD (entitled ‘Outmigration and young people from Wales’).

Studying for my PhD has been one of the best things I’ve done to date! Recently, a particular highlight has been attending the WISERD workshop on the changing population of Wales. I was invited to speak on the subject of my PhD and this was an encouraging and affirming experience in many ways, particularly as I received a lot of useful feedback." 


Elizabeth Heyworth (Wrexham) – PhD Sociology and Social Policy

“What attracted me to the School of Social Sciences at Bangor was its strong focus on research. The staff are very experienced in their areas and, between them, they offer a broad range of subjects and areas of expertise.  One of the best aspects about my course is the flexibility – the structure of the course allows me to work from home and to manage my own research project while having access to help and support from my project supervisors. Another highlight has been the networking opportunities – I‘ve been fortunate enough to attend a number of courses and to meet new people. The amount of support given is truly excellent.

Bangor is a great location is which to study. The social life is fantastic – there are lots of students for the size of the town, so there is plenty to do and always someone to socialise with. It’s an inexpensive place to live, and being so close to the mountains and the coast, there are lots of opportunities to try something new.

My plans for the future are to graduate with a PhD and PGCertHE by 2014, and to pursue an academic career that involves both teaching and research.”


Teresa Crew (Llandudno) – PhD in Sociology


“I am currently in my second year of a PhD in Sociology. My study looks at the experiences of graduates in North Wales in terms of the employment and postgraduate study opportunities that are available to them. Previous graduate studies have often had a UK-wide focus, offering little explanation of regional variation; therefore I chose to use North Wales as a case study. To date I have observed that there may be regional assets or ‘regional capital’ that graduates need to draw upon or acquire when accessing postgraduate opportunities in North Wales. The study is ongoing, but I expect to show that Welsh language skills may be an example of ‘regional capital’.

My advice to anyone thinking of pursuing a Postgraduate course is to choose a topic that can sustain your interests and one that you feel has unanswered questions that maybe you can answer. Match this topic with your supervisors, as a good supervisor is worth their weight in gold! Make the most, too, of the various opportunities that come your way. I recently attended a BBC Media Training course, which proved particularly insightful in the way that it made me think about the key messages of my study and how to present them in a succinct manner.

A PhD is a valuable qualification in terms of future employment opportunities and it is a fantastic way of building networks and personal development. Even in my second year, I am finding that my PhD is already presenting developmental opportunities. I recently attended a conference/workshop for early career researchers where I had the opportunity to present my research to the leading academics in my field and to receive valuable feedback. This conference has lead to possible collaborations with other PhD students as well as further opportunities to present my work. Later this year I will be presenting my study to the Society for Research into Higher Education conference.”