Eleanor Hurley

BSocSc Social Anthropology

Why did you choose to study your course at Manchester?

Eleanor Hurley
"Manchester provided not only a highly respected Anthropology course, but also an incredibly diverse one"

Manchester provided not only a highly respected Anthropology course, but also an incredibly diverse one. By second term I was able to ‘create my own course’ with so many different modules to choose from and specialise in.

What was the highlight of the course?

Having so many different modules to choose from. I could have a morning learning about Medical Anthropology in Ecuador, and by the afternoon be studying the cultural relationship between people and reindeer in the Arctic!

What was the most challenging part of the course?

The most challenging, but also most rewarding part of the course was re-learning how to look at the world through an anthropological lens. We learned how to see every-day practices we took as normal, and deconstructed them to the point of unfamiliarity. It is a very interesting way to look at the world which I continue to do in my work life.

Did you undertake any additional projects/initiatives as part of your course?

During my dissertation, I was one of the few to undertake primary research. This led me to take a trip to Kenya with a dental charity, Dentaid. Here, I studied a group of British dental practitioners, to understand their motivations and intensions for volunteering overseas.

It was a thoroughly interesting experience and led to a dissertation on volunteer tourism, from the perspective of skilled medical professionals; A selfless act for selfish gain?

What is the best thing about living and studying in the city of Manchester?

Manchester always has something happening, whether its live music, sport, food festivals. My whole student experience in Manchester was so exciting and fast-paced!

Were you involved in any extracurricular activities?

University Cadets – Really enjoyable way to learn new skills both practical and in leadership. Also allowed me to socialise with students from other Manchester universities.

Rugby – Brilliant way to keep up fitness, along with a nice social aspect.

Trampolining – Was very new to trampolining as a sport but was able to participate in competitions by the end of the first term. Really enjoyed the training sessions, constantly learning new skills, and a really lovely group of people to spend time with!

Drum lessons – Manchester is renowned for its music scene. There are so many places to listen to, learn and play music throughout the city. I wanted to continue my drumming, and found an amazing teacher in the Northern Quarter.

Manchester Camera Club – unfortunately when at Manchester there was no photography club in the university. However, with a quick google I found a local club in Didsbury, just a 10 min bus ride away. This club involved people from all walks of life, from 9 to 90, all with a passion for photography.

If you could name one memorable experience from your time at Manchester, what would it be?

Exploring the city with friends throughout the three years was definitely one of the best experiences of my time in Manchester. There is always something new to see or experience, be it the Christmas markets, food festivals, live music events or just the general hustle and bustle of the city!

What are your plans now?

Due to the pandemic my plans have become a bit hazy. I was doing a master's, but decided to pause, using my skills to aid in the strategic UK national effort against COVID. Without the ability to have such a diverse set of modules within my course, I wouldn’t have the analytical skills, cultural understanding, and public health knowledge required of my current job.