Education Studies - BA (Hons)
Jess had never really thought about joining BCU until, on a whim, she visited an Open Day with a friend. Having spoken to the course leader of the Education Studies course, BCU instantly became her first choice university. Since joining, she’s taken on every opportunity to broaden her horizons such as attending a placement in Peru, becoming a student ambassador and taking on student placements at Lincoln Castle.
"I have always wanted to have a career working with children, so I was very interested to go to university to work towards my career goals. BCU wasn’t originally one of my university choices. However, I came to a BCU Open Day with a friend who was interested in a nursing course, and because I had never been to Birmingham before, her dad had kindly offered to drive us both there. It wasn’t until I attended this Open Day, and met Elaine Matchett, the Education Studies course leader that BCU became my top choice university. I was absolutely delighted when they offered me a place on their Education Studies course!
The main challenge I faced when deciding to go to university was my self-confidence. University is very hard work and I wasn’t sure if I could commit to it, but taking a step out of my comfort zone and applying to study at BCU is the best decision I have ever made. This wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing staff at the university. I have received so much support from the Education Studies tutors, they are so passionate about what they are teaching, and their enthusiasm inspires me as a student to work harder and value their feedback.
I have also received support from the BCU accommodation team, as they supported me in finding accommodation for my first year of study; the Graduate+ Team, as their scheme empowers students to have new experiences and broaden their horizons and finally the BCU Careers+ Team, who have taken the time to visit us during lectures to deliver sessions, such as creating a CV and possible career options during study and post graduate, which I have found really helpful.
I’ve had so many amazing experiences here too, which has built up my confidence even more. During my first year, myself and another student on the Education Studies course were selected from over 100 students around the UK to complete a two-week internship in Peru. We worked with a charity called MEDLIFE who work in partnership with people who live in low socioeconomic areas in Peru, and they provide healthcare and build vital staircases in the communities. It was unlike anything I had ever done before, but it was incredible to have such an impact on the people living in the Peruvian communities and it has definitely been a highlight of my time at BCU so far.
I’m also a student ambassador, and I have been since I joined BCU in 2017. This is a paid job role where you help out with university Open Days by carrying out tasks such as campus tours and course-specific taster day activities. I really enjoy working as a student ambassador and it has massively improved my confidence and knowledge of BCU. I find that this role enables me to share my experiences of the uni, from talking about the Education Studies course, to moving to Birmingham and living in student accommodation. I think it’s important for any prospective students to ask current students about their course and university of interest because they will get authentic answers from the student perspective.
Since becoming a student at BCU, I have become much more independent and more confident in my own abilities. I’ve been empowered to push myself out of my comfort zone and take every opportunity given, such as going to Peru to complete an internship, which is something I had never visualised myself doing before starting university. I have developed the confidence to try new experiences too. For instance, instead of completing my Education Studies placement at a nursery or school, I tried something new and I worked as part of the education team at heritage sites in Lincoln, such as Lincoln Castle and The Collection museum, despite having limited history knowledge, and really enjoyed it.
Now, my goal is to reach my full academic potential, take every opportunity given to me and have lots of different experiences. BCU has helped me work towards achieving these goals as I find that the staff really take the time to get to know you as an individual and support you in improving yourself academically. BCU care about their students and opportunities are always well advertised across campus and within individual courses and faculties.
Completing a degree isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. There is a lot expected of any university student which was a big shock to me initially. From attending long lectures, completing independent study and additional mandatory reading in your free time and drafting and completing assignments. Assignments were particularly difficult in my second year as we had 3 assignments to complete and submit at the same time as working five days a week during placement. It was paramount to take a step back and organise my time effectively to balance completing my assignments and taking every opportunity available during my placement period. From my own experiences, I benefitted from creating a weekly schedule so I knew what tasks I needed to complete and when, and I found that this approach enabled me to stay on top of my workload.
To me, ‘I AM BCU’ means I am part of the BCU community and family. I am a part of the university and I feel a sense of pride when I share my experiences of studying here. I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have experienced, and the support received whilst being part of BCU. Moving to Birmingham was such a huge decision and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time living and studying here, I feel very lucky and don’t think I would have had such a positive experience of university, had as many incredible experiences or have made the incredible friends that I have at BCU if I had gone anywhere else."
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