Barry Whelan

Graduating 2013

In 2010 I started studying sociology as part of the Bachelor of Social Science degree course after being accepted in as a mature student. Before I returned to full time education, I took a lot in life for granted, but sociology has opened my eyes in a way that I never expected. I have learned to view society through a new lens. A lens that has enabled me to critically analyse how our social systems work, develop and the major influences and institutions that drive these developments. I now see how such influences impact on people at all stages of life, on an individual and collective level from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures. This is a view that will benefit me and I hope many others for the rest of my personal and professional life. At the time of writing this paragraph, I am coming to end of my degree, and I am happy to say I have now been accepted on to a full time post-graduate Master’s degree course in social work. What I have learned in sociology and social policy during my time at Maynooth University has set me up perfectly for my new adventure in full time education. Returning to education at Maynooth has been a life changing experience for me and one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is an experience I think many others would also benefit from. I am grateful not only for what I have learned, achieved, and the benefits I will get from this education, but also for all the friends I have made during my time here.