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HSPS & PPE Personal Statment

As a liberal, the ambivalent nature of modern democracy is something I find intellectually stimulating. Having for the first ten years of my life witnessed the politics of corruption, intolerance, and neglect in Nigeria; and then that of the apathy, partisanship and majoritarianism embodied by the UK's political system - I am forced to question the legitimacy of the West's claims towards polyarchy. I therefore seek to gain a holistic understanding into the political, ethical and economic nature of governments and institutions across the world.

My subjects have shown me the intrinsic link between all three disciplines, with the foundations of many political ideologies being deep-rooted in ethical philosophy. Wider reading led me to Thomas Pogge's 'World Poverty and Human Rights', which immediately fascinated me with its economic analysis of current global order and how it disengages individuals in society from mass poverty abroad - a critique I recognised due to my upbringing. Pogge identified supporters of the current world order as human rights violators, opining human rights as duties to design our social systems to secure equal access to the substance of the right - skilfully rationalising the difference principle using Kantian ideas.

However, further exploration led me to Nozick's 'Tale of a Slave' analogy, thus causing me to contest the responsibility Pogge places on individuals as the political actors of society. Nonetheless, I still recognised the value of his ideas whilst studying poverty in Sociology; a course which highlighted the need for the development of a more sustainable and just economic system. Ideas which are expressed convincingly by Jeffrey Sachs in his book 'Common Wealth'. Expanding on the Malthusian Law, he argued for an increasing international effort in reducing the adverse effects of globalisation in deprived nations. This ignited my interest in Jacque Fresco's Venus Project and his desire to push humanity into an age of sustainability, an idea I hope to dissect and develop during the course of this degree.

A desire to develop my independent research, coupled with my interest in liberalism inspired me to write a dissertation assessing the question 'Is order more valuable than rights?' for my Extended Project. Using results from a social survey I conducted, I studied society's tolerance towards the negation of their individual rights and freedoms within the context of contemporary issues ranging from surveillance, free speech to the smoking ban. Concurrently, taking part in the Brilliant Club's Scholars Program allowed me to balance my A Levels, Extended Project, and write a university-style essay titled 'What type of knowledge are photographs best at presenting about the Holocaust'. I avidly enjoyed exploring unique theories like semiotics and phenomenology and using these ideas to construct my piece, for which I was awarded a distinction. These experiences developed my depth of knowledge outside my current subjects whilst simultaneously enriching me with the invaluable skills required for the rigour of this degree.

Outside academia, I write political articles for my school blog, set up and run an in-school debating competition and also enjoyed the opportunity of mentoring a young boy in lower school. Additionally, being a Head of a college of 220 students whilst also helping to run my school's feminist society developed my aptitude for constructing sound arguments, and expressing them on a public platform.

This summer I spent a month interning for the Mayor of London's Office working with Team London; who play a major part in maintaining the legacy of the 2012 Olympics through their work with marginalised communities. After my A2 exams I aim to gain a first hand experience into sustainable development projects on the ICS volunteering scheme; this will confidently prepare me for the multifaceted nature of this degree enabling me to argue from a theoretical, conceptual and empirical perspective.

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Author's Comments

Universities Applied to:

Cambridge University [Clare College] (HSPS) - Offer (A*AA) - Firm
York University (PPE) - Offer (A*AA)
Warwick University (PPE) - Rejection
Nottingham University (PPE) - Offer (AAA) - Insurance
Leeds University (PPE) - Offer (AAA)

Grades Achieved:
Government and Politics (AS = A [88%]) - Prediction = A*
Sociology (AS = A [100%] ) - Prediction = A*
Philosophy (AS = A [93%] ) - Prediction = A*
Maths (AS = B [77%]) - Dropped at AS

Comments:

Percentages are UMS which is useful for Cambridge applicants.
Also did the EPQ but not sure if that played a part in any of my offers.
Warwick rejection possibly due to low GCSE's according to my teachers.
Good Luck.

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