Portrait of Sian Halas

Sian Halas

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

PPE allows me to study pretty much anything, it has given me a breadth and depth of knowledge that few other courses could have! I like the way it is taught at Leeds in a more forward-looking way, looking at the real world and how we can make an impact rather than abstract traditional theories. Being in the first ever cohort has meant I have felt really valued in forming the way it is done here, and the staff behind it are so passionate that it succeeds.

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

I think PPE gives the knowledge and skills to really look at any issue from a variety of perspectives, and think outside the box for solutions. It teaches you a way of thinking about things, not just information to regurgitate.  I love how I could never get bored, I can go from reading existentialist philosophy to doing maths to debating politics. 

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

I thought coming to a large university would mean you were just a number but I have been pleasantly surprised with how staff really go out of their way to support you.

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

I’ve found all the staff so eager to help with everything and they really care about how you are doing. There are so many initiatives to help you with everything from maths to essay writing which is great!

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

The University gym, The Edge, is brilliant, especially the huge variety of classes they offer. In my final year I have been a Women’s Liberation Co-ordinator for the Union as well as on the committee for Leeds Youth Stop AIDS. I’ve also been to incredible events put on by other societies like Spoken Word and The Scribe. There really is something for everyone and if there isn’t it’s so easy to set up. There’s loads of cool events going on in wider Leeds too like Girl Gang and other arty and political things. Also the number of gigs going on all the time is ridiculous. 

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

I couldn’t recommend it more. PPE and University really are what you make of it, so I’d say the more you put in, the more you get out. I’d also be super open to what your interests might be – I thought economics was my favourite when I arrived and now I love philosophy the most. 

What do you plan to do now you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?

I’ve been really lucky to get a job with the Department for Education in Children’s Social Care Services. I’ve been able to do so much campaigning and advocacy for such a huge range of issues in Leeds that I think have been really empowering and I hope to eventually move into the charity sector.