Human Sciences Student Reports
Read reports from four current and former students.
Lucjan Kaliniecki (current student)
I chose to do Human Sciences because of its breadth: I felt I would be frustrated by concentrating on just one of the subjects that I'm interested in for a degree. This aspect hasn't disappointed, and every day it seem like you're studying something different. The variety of what seems like lots of random subjects actually forms a coherent whole: very soon, you are not just finding links between all the things you study but also ways of understanding topics that surprise even your tutors. As well as this academic appeal, Human Sciences has a fantastic community of students. There may not be many of us, but we are all enthusiastic about the same thing and are very close as a social group between years and colleges, which makes studying and living in Oxford a very satisfying experience. My current aspiration is to work in government at a national or international level. Studying Human Sciences will give me a broad set of skills and knowledge that can be applied to multiple situations, which will no doubt be very valuable for this and may other lines of work.
Beth Thorne (current student)
Flicking through an Oxford prospectus I stumbled across Human Sciences and was instantly hooked by the variety it allowed. A few years later, fortunately, I still feel the same way! Now in my second year I am starting to really appreciate how all the parts of the course come together and can be applied to big current issues such as obesity, climate change and AIDS. Oxford life in general means it is hard to ever be bored but I think this is even more so for Human Scientists; it's not uncommon to write essays on demography, genetics and anthropology within the space of a few days. The variety of options open to Human Scientists after graduating is very broad (which is making it very hard to choose what to do after I graduate!) I think I might apply for a masters, possibly in Public Health or in an education related field. This summer, through the Oxford Internship Programme, I am interning for the admin side of a charity in New York which offers mentoring for disadvantaged high school students. This is just one of the amazing opportunities I have been fortunate enough to have had access to during my time here.
Sarah Holloway (graduated 2003)
I’m an independent consultant in sustainability strategy and communications, using my experience to support, encourage and learn from those who are working within organisations to create a more sustainable world. After graduating from Human Sciences in 2003, I completed a Master’s degree in Leadership for Sustainable Development from Forum for the Future. It’s a wonderful degree for anyone looking to work in sustainability, and includes high-level internships in NGOs, business and government to find out the role these sectors can play in improving our society. I started my career as a director of sustainability communications agency Futerra, where I worked with clients including L’Oreal, Shell, Defra and the British Council. Then I moved in-house, working in senior sustainability roles at Unilever, Tesco and TUI Travel. As an independent consultant, my clients have included Unilever, TUI Travel, RBS, The Garden Centre Group and The Travel Foundation. I’ve just published my first book, Networks for Sustainability, which looks at how sustainability professionals can harness people power to deliver their goals. Whatever I’m doing, I find myself drawing on my training as a Human Scientist. The course provided the perfect foundation for me to pursue a career based on doing what I love and making a difference.
Daniela Sieff (graduated 1987)
I read Human Sciences because I was always wanted to understand what made us who we are. When I began the degree I believed that I would go into business when I graduated. However, I was so fascinated by what I was learning that I went on to do a masters degree in Anthropology and Psychology at Ann Arbour Michigan, followed by a D.Phil. in biological anthropology back at Oxford. Following that I moved into the world of television and was co-producer on a couple of documentaries. And now I am an independent writer. My first book, called Understanding and Healing Emotional Trauma was published by Routledge in December 2014 (http://bit.ly/EmotionalTraumaAmazonUK). It is a series of interviews with pioneering psychotherapists, neurobiologists and evolutionary researchers and aims to make their ideas accessible to a broad audience. Its inter-disciplinary nature, and the vision that underlies it, is deeply rooted in Human Sciences. More information about me and the book can be found at www.danielasieff.com