Case Study

Claire Clifford

Sunderland, UK

BSc (Hons) Sociology


During her placement at ReportOut, Claire Clifford conducted two Nation-State reports of her two chosen countries, researching social attitudes, history, religion, policy and legislation, key organisations and legal protection for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) people associated with each country. The placement did not only sharpen Claire's research skills but also massively prepared her for her dissertation.

My chosen placement organisation ReportOut is a global Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) human rights charity and aims to report human right abuses of SOGI people in every nation-state using a human rights survey, working alongside mentors worldwide, mapping SOGI abuses around the world. 

During my time at placement, I conducted two Nation-State reports of my two chosen countries, researching social attitudes, history, religion, policy and legislation, key organisations and legal protection for SOGI people associated with each country. I enjoyed every minute of researching such an interesting topic and even found it difficult to know where to draw the line when conducting my research due to the fact there is a vast amount of information out there.

We had many options on how our research could be carried out, including an option to conduct face to face semi-structured interviews with mentors from all around the world on SOGI people. You can not get any more real-life than that! This, in turn, allows students to really get involved with the placement and really feel their work is bringing change to society!

Working alongside my mentor and gaining a greater understanding of such an under researched topic and a minority of people were the best aspects of the placement. This massively widened my knowledge on an area of interest I had only scratched the surface on in previous modules, which as a result enabled me to carry out further detailed research, expanding my literature on a topic I am very interested in.

Relevant reading material for the placement is immensely interesting and keeps you hooked from day one, extremely sad at times, however, the more the area is researched, the more global change we can bring and this is what keeps me wanting to learn even more about the organisations involved and eventually make social change happen!

Placement enables students to have a taste of using their social research skills in the ‘real world’, using research skills and techniques learned during all years of the University. Student support is first class as always and allows students to enjoy their placement from day one reducing any anxieties students may feel towards placement or assignments.

I recommend a placement to not only sharpen student research skills but I found this module really set me up on how to organise my dissertation. Not only are you researching an area of interest through placement, in addition, you are also getting a taster for your final year dissertation. Excellent Module!

The placement has helped shape my social research by encouraging more detailed literature reviews and highlighting my personal skilled areas during my research. Therefore not only did the placement sharpen my research skills, I believe it massively prepared me for my dissertation!

Additionally, the placement also aided my social research skills through building my self confidence and preparing me for the world of work, together with feedback this progression proves vital during university and my future, something that will support me massively when applying for further education and career goals in equality and diversity in the future.

It has been an emotional time but in all honesty, I have loved every minute of it and will really miss it come graduation day. Especially the lecturers! The University has changed me as a person academically and personally, you really do see the world from a different view after studying here!

Thank you University of Sunderland!"

Published 25 July 2019

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