Isabella Durant

Isabella Durant

What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?

I was first attracted to Leeds because the Liberal Arts course seemed so interesting and well curated. Compared to other universities, there was much more cross disciplinary structure, and I loved the fact that all the students on the Liberal Arts cohort had a specific module together. The wide range of topic modules and the clear thought and care that had gone into the course made it a clear first choice for me. The University and city of Leeds immediately felt like home to me when I came to see it on an open day. I loved the campus, as it seemed welcoming, but also dynamic and exciting. I could immediately picture myself here, which I didn’t find with any other universities.

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

The thing I love the most about Liberal Arts is that it combines many different areas of study, and opens up so much debate and discussion. The fact that in a room of people doing Liberal Arts, no two people are studying exactly the same is the perfect situation for a lively exchange of ideas. All the Liberal Arts students can bring something new, different and interesting to the table. We can all share our knowledge and gain things from each other, which is a method of learning that really connects with me. The exploratory nature of the course really inspires me to constantly be striving for more knowledge and discovery.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?  

It is honestly very difficult for me to choose my most enjoyable parts of the course so far, because I have enjoyed all of it so much! I found the module ‘Visions of Humanity’ very engaging, and was excited to attend every week. Talking with the other members of the seminar about philosophical ideas every week was so stimulating, and I always found myself wanting more at the end of the hour. The ‘Digital World’ module was also a highlight for me, as it made me seriously consider all the digital aspects of my life, my reliance on them and how they were affecting me and society as a whole. Every module I have taken so far has been incredibly engaging, but the two previously mentioned stand out for me the most.

What has been the most surprising thing about coming to Leeds?

I was most surprised at how quickly I settled into life at Leeds. I thought that first year would be hugely stressful and difficult, and it felt very daunting before I started. While university does challenge me significantly, I really like the hard work, as the busy student life suits me and I feel fulfilled. I was also surprised at how much I had in common with most of the people on my course, and I love having such likeminded friends that are so keen to have discussions and debates.

What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?

I have found that Leeds has excellent learning facilities. I have lectures and seminars all over campus, and they are of a constant high standard in my experience. My particular area of study doesn’t require so much equipment as perhaps a science or computing degree for example, but I have always found the facilities to be very suitable. The Union is also a really fantastic addition to campus.

What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?

There is a huge range of activities for students to take part in. I am the new Events Officer for the Liberal Arts Society this year. I organise socials for all members of the society, in an effort to make everyone feel included and welcome. This is a great role because I am able to interact with people from all years of the course, promote a range of activities, and facilitate new friendships.

You can also find a society for pretty much every area of interest, and there is the option to start one yourself if it doesn’t already exist! I write for the student newspaper, The Gryphon, in the music section. I am very passionate about music, so this is the perfect activity for me. I also ski with the university race team, which is a very social sporting activity that has introduced me to lots of great new people. In addition,

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

I would strongly recommend the Liberal Arts course at Leeds, as I truly think you could not do any better. The academic aspect is so engaging and well considered, and there is so much opportunity to learn and discover in different ways. The course isn’t easy, and requires full commitment and dedication, but is so fulfilling and exciting. There is a brilliant community and support network in Liberal Arts. The course director Mark Wynn really cannot do enough for Liberal Arts students, and the seminar leaders, the Liberal Arts society and your peers on the course will always be there too. If the concept of Liberal Arts is of interest to someone, I would urge them to seriously consider the program here.