Jessica Saxon Macrostie

Jess Saxon-MacRostie

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

I studied Philosophy and Ethics at A level, and was inspired by the challenges that Philosophy in particular proposed, finding philosophical thought an incredibly engaging and rewarding way of learning. I was, however, not ready to limit myself to a degree of single honours Philosophy, and so spent time browsing prospectuses for ways to incorporate Philosophy into a degree. Having never heard of Liberal Arts, I then researched the few Russell Group universities which offered it, comparing courses and locations. As soon as I looked into Leeds I knew my choice was made. I was drawn to the course because it provided more of a structured degree programme than other Liberal Arts courses. The course was evidently incredibly well thought-out and structured in a way that would guide my learning in the most effective way possible. Additionally, I would be a part of only the second cohort of students, and the newness of the course excited me, especially since the course directors were evidently incredibly enthused by this prospect. I was also sold by the fact that Leeds seemed to have very high student satisfaction rates. As a bonus, the city was completely new to me, and totally different to where I’m from, which I found really exciting!

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

I feel so lucky to be a part of such a varied degree programme, which offers a holistic picture of particular issues, informed by group discussion and contributions from students of multiple major subjects. A multidisciplinary education also encourages me to make creative links between different modules, which enhances my responses to certain issues. The benefits of a Liberal Arts approach to education extends to my vision of the world around me, encouraging outward-facing viewpoints and breadths of understanding about particular issues of social concern that I don’t feel could be offered by a narrower educational outlook.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most? 

I have loved coming together as an entire Liberal Arts cohort, which offers an opportunity for collaboration between major subjects on broad issues, such as education or social justice, and never fails to spark interesting and thought-provoking debate.  

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

I am never short of new study spaces, which prevents long hours spent reading from feeling repetitive! The libraries are full of places for group work or quiet spots to get on if deadlines are looming and there are an overwhelming number of digital and written resources on campus for both core and wider academic reading.

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 plethora of extracurricular options available through LUU, which offer opportunities to enhance your studies, expand your CV or simply provide enjoyment and ways of making connections with fellow students. Since I am hoping to pursue a career as an editor, I enjoyed being a part of LIPPY magazine last year, as their Fashion Editor. This year, I am involved with FemSoc as the editor of their new zine, and am the secretary on the Liberal Arts committee.

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

I would encourage anyone considering a Liberal Arts degree to go for it! The uniqueness and flexibility of the course makes for such engaging study, providing depth through your choice of major and breadth within the remainder of credits available to you. Socially, since each year group of Liberal Arts students is between twenty and thirty people, you will have a base of likeminded peers who you will become incredibly close to, but will be able to be a part of larger lectures and other small seminar groups through your major subject which I think makes the step up from sixth-form to university education must less daunting.