I chose to study this course at Birmingham City University as it offered me a unique course which allowed me to teach in the further education sector, using a range of both practical and theoretical applications. After researching a range of different universities, I realised that not many universities offered this type of course. However, out of the ones that did, it was clear that Birmingham City University stood out for me. The course prospectus was very helpful and detailed different modules and their appropriateness to teaching.
I have thoroughly enjoyed studying at Birmingham City University as it has been valuable in exposing me to life changing experiences. I loved that equality and diversity was so rich there; it was also refreshing to see how they encouraged an inclusive environment with students. The course lived up to my expectations and beyond. It was a very informative experience and I was continuously supported throughout the duration of my course.
During my time at Birmingham City University, I was also given the opportunity to complete several work placements. One of these placements involved going to Germany, as part of the Erasmus programme and teach there for three months; in two different institutions. My other placement was based at South and City College in Birmingham. These placements very beneficial and an enlightening experience for me, which allowed me to put theory into practice and develop the skills I learned on the course even further.
I found all of the staff in the education department to be very supportive and engaging. They were very dedicated and you could see the hard work and preparation that went into lectures. Karen McGrath the director of the course was highly informative and supportive throughout the course. She had a reasonable approach to all issues and was immensely accommodating. Even during my placements, my personal development tutor was supportive and allowed me to overcome any obstacles I had and put my worries at ease.
This qualification was extremely useful and studying here has allowed me to start a successful career in vocational teaching. I am currently employed as a vocational lecturer at South and City College Birmingham; the same institution where I had undertaken my placement. The college recently had an Ofsted inspection, where I was observed by an inspector, and the college achieved a Grade 2, which is a creditable result.
In the future, I hope to gain more experience in teaching and progress to a higher level of teaching roles and eventually establish a career in educational research.
My advice to any students looking to join Birmingham City University is to enrol on this course with an open mind, room for tolerance and a large amount of patience. The FE sector is rather competitive and the age range of the learners can be testing at times. They will face obstructions but they have to remember that it is all part of the learning process.