Studies in Philosophy and Politics at the University of Edinburgh
Aqwika, from Indonesia, took the A-level course at Kings Brighton before winning a place to study at the University of Edinburgh. We recently spoke to her about her experience so far at this popular and prestigious Scottish university.
Hi Aqwika. Which undergraduate degree are you studying?
I'm studying for my MA (Hons) in Philosophy and Politics at the University of Edinburgh.
How is the semester going so far? Are you happy with your choice of university?
I have to be honest, uni is somehow tougher than most people say but I do enjoy my time here in Edinburgh. Studies can be overwhelming at times and COVID has kind of prevented me from making new acquaintances here, however, in terms of studies, thankfully I'm used to it now.
Are your classes face-to-face, or online?
My classes are 90% online, which means there's only one tutorial every two weeks for one course only that occurs in-person, although it might be different for STEM students. For me, I have one of my Philosophy tutorials every other Wednesday, but the rest of other courses' tutorials and lectures are held online, either live or pre-recorded.
How have you found the transition from Kings to university?
I think my transitional period from Kings to University wasn't as bad as some of my peers who went to the types of schools—such as Sixth Form or Grammar School.
"The system I experienced at Kings wasn't significantly different from the system I'm currently in at uni. Both require an individualistic way of learning with some group projects on the side. Also, tutorials are made easy for me as I was familiarised with the idea of being open-minded and opinionated in class when I was in Kings."
How did you decide which university to apply to? What was the process?
To be honest, when I applied to UCAS, I didn't know where to apply other than Oxford University; however, I knew that chance of me getting accepted into such a prestigious university was very unlikely. I was really interested in University of Manchester, UCL, and Edinburgh University. Still, it was more a fascination than solid choices because I had around 6 other universities in mind, including those in the US. Eventually, I decided to join some open days and finally settled with 5 universities.
Did your time at Kings Brighton help you to prepare for university?
Technically, yes. I did my two-year A levels there because I wanted to have an accredited secondary education requirement to go onto higher education.
"I think, for the most part, it did prepare me for university, especially for the specific subjects I'm reading . It sort of settled the ground for my understanding of Politics and Philosophy as I did A levels in Politics, Economics, and Mathematics. "
Did you feel supported by the teachers and other staff at Kings Brighton?
Yes. I think Kings Brighton staff were amicable, especially the teachers.They're very understanding and thoughtful, which in terms of education shaped my way of thinking to become more critical and help familiarize me with the general view of any subject we're learning.
Overall, how was your experience at Kings?
Overall, I loved my time in Kings Brighton. I think it was gratifying and helped me get to the position I am currently at.