Time management and self-motivation are essential. These skills have been important to Tom’s progress throughout his degree and particularly when researching and writing his dissertation.

Tom’s dissertation looked at how economically active homeless people were in London. Tom undertook dozens of interviews at homeless shelters.

This required him to design questionnaire and interview questions that were sensitive to his subjects’ predicament. Both his analytical and communication skills were greatly enhanced by this experience.


What are the top attributes you’ve developed through your degree?

Transferable key skills to help me with my career goals and my continuing education:

Primarily the first one would be time management, being able to see how many essays I’ve got to do and manage that time efficiently so not only do I complete all of them, but manage to actually get a good mark in them.

Initiative and resilience in meeting challenges:

Self-motivation I think is more important because I think at school there’s quite a lot of encouragement from your teachers but when you get to university obviously you’ve got to motivate yourself to actually go and do the work – just pop into the library and get books out. I think as first, second, third year has developed that’s definitely improved – I’m getting journals out weeks before I’ve got to actually read them just in preparation.

Apply different forms of communication in various social, professional and cultural settings:

My writing style has definitely improved and being able to communicate visually through my writing, making sure it’s not just a massive blurb of information. Essays – obviously in first year it’s quite simple, how is this happening essay. It gets more thought provoking towards the end of your degree, asking you questions about how would you do this, how would you approach certain things and what would you address and what really needs looking after.

What are the top attributes you’ve developed through a chosen module?

Work effectively in diverse communities:

I was doing my dissertation on homeless people in London and looking at whether or not they were economically active in terms of jobs, both informal and formal, any voluntary work and sort of where they just spent their time other than in the shelter or on the street. What it really helped me with was self-motivation; it was entirely my own work, therefore I had to be able to get up in the morning, go to a homeless shelter, conduct a series of interviews and questionnaires and then go home and analyse that. It also helped my organisational skills. Obviously I had to contact everyone, create interviews, create questionnaires and organise my time so that I had enough time to go out, do them and had enough time to then analyse it.

Apply different forms of communication in various social, professional and cultural settings:

It’s helped me be able to communicate with a series of different people. Particularly looking at the homeless – they’re a vulnerable group, you want to be able to not offend them, to make sure they can understand the questions and so I spent quite a lot of time developing the questions.

Apply my analytical skills to investigate unfamiliar problems:

My analytical skills improved. I think I got about fifteen series of information which I had to process, create into a visual form I could look at and then draw conclusions from, and then write that up and present it in my final IGS.