Biological Anthropology and Health and Human Sciences
Submitted by Keelan
Despite the large diversity of courses available, I have chosen to study a degree in Health and Human Sciences. I feel as if I have a natural curiosity for the world and my chosen course will enable me to make a difference, while studying such a broad range of areas which is what I personally, find appealing about the study itself.
The modules 'Health, Illness and Society' and 'Evolutionary Medicine' are of particular interest to me as I am dedicated to pursuing a career in medical anthropological research, the health sector or similar. My interest for human sciences derived from an initial interest in medical anthropology and my Sociology and Psychology studies.
I have especially enjoyed the evolutionary and biological aspects of aggression this year in Psychology which has further motivated me to study this discipline at university. 'The Selfish Gene' by Richard Dawkins provided insights relating to the evolutionary and ecological ideas for aggression, which I have found to be helpful and thought-provoking in relation to my A Level work.
Psychology has also been useful in gaining analytical and mathematical skills. In Sociology I have enjoyed studying how human society develops and functions and has equipped me with the vital essay skills such as critical thinking and evaluating a range of perspectives and contemporary issues which would be of great use at university level. Health and Social Care gave me the opportunity for experience within both a primary school and an elderly care home in order to gain primary data for several pieces of coursework. I was able to develop essential research, organisational and interpersonal skills that are all necessary for a career in a health related area. I am also looking forward to the coursework 'Infectious Diseases', an area I am extremely intrigued by. I am also keen to further my French language from GCSE level, and would make use of the facilities at your institution. I have extended my interest beyond the classroom by watching several Ted Talk's.
I found 'Tracking Ancient Diseases Using Plaque' by Christina Warinner especially interesting. She spoke about her investigation into the long term evolutionary history of health using dental calculus found in species as early as the Neanderthals. In addition, 'A Dig for Humanity's Origins' by Lowise Leukey gives an extremely thought-provoking talk into the past but also future of us as a species. I am currently involved in the 15 week student volunteer programme at Lister Hospital, which I find to be extremely fulfilling. The experience will hopefully give me a deeper insight into UK healthcare which will be useful when studying/comparing other views of health and the body worldwide. I also volunteer in a primary school once a week and mentored a year 7 form in my school. Both have helped me improve confidence and communication skills.
My interest in wider society is shown through my participation in 'The Memory Project' where I created a portrait for a Syrian refugee child, an item to act as a positive memory of their childhood. My other hobbies include yoga and running, recently raising over £300 for Cancer Research through 'Race for Life'. I am extremely health conscious and am intrigued by all aspects of physical and mental well-being both globally and personally, past and present. Furthermore, I enjoy reading. I have found 'The Blind Watchmaker' by Richard Dawkins to offer many interesting analogies in providing the idea of a 'blind watchmaker' as a wider explanation for all biological designs. Having recently completed the 4 week-long National Citizen Service I found that I have developed team-work, leadership and communication skills that would be invaluable at university, as well as experience with living in university halls. Due to this and the reasons above, I am excited about what the future might hold in Human Sciences and life at university.