Amina Begum

Amina, a Sociology BSc (Hons) student, talks to us about her course and experience at London Met. 

Tell us a little bit about the course you're studying 

Studying sociology has countless benefits. I think I was attracted to it as I noticed how I can be a very observant person. I love how you can see your surroundings or environments through different perspectives and dimensions. What to many people seem monotonous or normal part of everyday life, through the lens of a social scientist can be far more complex. We get to study various theoretical frameworks and how much of it can be applied. One of the advantages of understanding society and its people, is that it can allow you to have an impact through noticing what the issue might be and how you think a solution should be addressed. Which in hindsight, can be an inspiring and rewarding factor in itself – knowing you can play a role involved in your community or even work environment.

Why did you decide to study at London Met?

I decided to do my final year at London Met after originally coming from somewhere else. It was a somewhat risky challenge and seemed intimidating to go into a new environment, but I am extremely happy with the outcome. One of the main reasons I decided to study at London Met, is that it offered various courses and modules tailored towards me – I was excited to see how I could study modules entitled ‘Education, Sports and Health in Society’, in addition to undertaking ‘Sociology and Social Policy Placement’. I noticed and admire how career driven they are. I have used the Careers and Employability service, which provided me some useful knowledge, giving me confidence how to transfer all my skills and made me realise the many opportunities and potential we have as students.

What’s the best thing about the course?

One of the best things about the course is that it can be reasonably versatile and flexible when it comes to work and pursuing a career. You are not limited and restricted, you can be surprised by how many fields of work you can end up in. I even know someone who did sociology and further studies, who worked in the banking sector. I like to think I discovered more surprising things about myself, such as what it is I am passionate about or what’s important to me.

How has your experience been so far?

For me it was such an adventure (even if I was not physically at the University), I knew I had interests in topics such as religion, human rights, philosophy and education, but also uncovered my enthusiasm for health, fitness and general well-being and how this can be applied to civic society. I am quite fortunate to say that I am content and glad that there isn’t a thing I regret. I am also excited to see where it is I will end up with my dissertation project which focuses on a marxist perspective one emancipation of Muslim alienation and economic Islamophobia.

Are there any highlights from your time at London Met? 

In contrast to my past experience, I can say that London Met seems to value things that I am passionate about and is important to me, which is inclusion, equality and diversity. I was really delighted how welcoming, understanding and friendly the staff have been, and provided many helpful advice whatever it may be. As a Muslim student, I was really pleased to see how London Met became the first UK University to adopt a working definition of Islamophobia developed by the APPG. Through this step forward, I hope other educational facilities and institutions are encouraged and motivated to recognise and also address and face these issues in our societies.

How has the University adapted teaching during lockdown? 

It has been a very interesting journey as we strictly navigated the virtual world during the pandemic, but I like to say it was a blessing in disguise for me. Realistically it posed some limitations and challenges, however, I really enjoyed the process. I used the library catalogue to its full extent and found the online virtual learning environment or Blackboard really helpful, especially with going back to lecture recordings. In many ways, it also shows how prepared they were during the pandemic. Needless to say, I took full advantage of all of this, and allowed me to be flexible when it came to juggling other priorities, such as my fitness lifestyle and finding work. I also have to give credit and pay respect to the staff, who I can count on to get back to me and provide me the necessary guidance or assistance.  

Do you have any advice for new students? 

I would encourage you to ask your lecturers anything and see where it leads. One of the things I wish I could tell my younger self, or in this case to a new student is that no matter how daunting things may be, it can often be our own self that can hold us back, like making whatever obstacle may be, seem scarier than it actually is. Things can sometimes be overwhelming, but as the saying goes: ‘’the sky's the limit’’, do whatever it is you want and enjoy. Even if there is a lot to take in, remember to take a funnel approach to reach your goal or when undertaking a lot, so don’t get discouraged.
Amina Begum, Sociology BA student