Interview with QMU graduate, Angus Carbarns, BSc (Hons) Psychology & Sociology
Angus Carbarns, 32, from Dingwall in Ross-shire, was one of the first students to study at QMU’s new purpose-built campus in 2007 and graduated with a BSc (Hons) Psychology & Sociology from QMU in 2011.
Having left school in 2003 with only two Scottish Highers, Angus felt his opportunities for entering higher education were limited. He also felt that he didn’t have a particularly strong academic performance in secondary school, where he struggled to find an area of study that sparked his interest enough to pursue a university education. In the years that followed, Angus took on several service sector jobs while he considered his future options.
It wasn’t until Angus decided to attend a local college to study for Highers in sociology, politics and history that he found an affinity with social sciences. Sociology completely captured his imagination, enabling him to make sense of the social world around him and he knew he had discovered the subject area he wanted to focus on.
Why did you choose to study BSc (Hons) Psychology & Sociology at QMU?
“After researching degree courses in Scotland, I chose QMU study as it struck me as a forward-thinking and vibrant institution. Coming from a small town in the rural north of Scotland, QMU’s friendly size and supportive environment also appealed to me. I think QMU is less intimidating than some of the larger universities.
“Joining the Psychology and Sociology programme at QMU in 2007, I knew I had a strong interest in the social sciences, but wanted to use the course as an opportunity to deepen my knowledge in both qualitative and quantitative enquiry. Thankfully, studying the sometimes contradictory (but more often complimentary) fields of psychology and sociology simultaneously gave me this opportunity in spades.
“I found the lecturing staff throughout the department to be deeply knowledgeable, conscientious and ready to listen to the needs of students. This was particularly true for me in the second year of study when the sudden passing of my mother almost derailed my study. The flexibility of the university and the support of my lecturers enabled me to remain at QMU that year, ultimately leading me to pass my second year with high grades and an even stronger work ethic and focus.”
How has your experience studying at QMU equipped you with the skills and knowledge to pursue your chosen career?
“After leaving QMU, I made the most of my new-found freedom by focusing on playing music with my band, leading me to play across Europe and even to America. Inspired by my studies, I wanted to work in the education sector to help other young people better make sense of their environment and life experiences, which led me to working in specialist schools in Edinburgh.
“Latterly, I've focused on combining my interests in social science with my passion for technology. This has led me to work for a handful of prominent digital agencies and I’m currently employed as an Insights Analyst with Scotland’s largest independent digital agency, Equator. As an Insights Analyst, I help some of the UK’s largest companies harness qualitative and quantitative data effectively to improve marketing spend and website performance.”
Angus has been keeping an online blog discussing his experiences working with quantitative and qualitative data in the 'real world'.
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