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Laura Hesketh 900x400 I AM BCU

Laura Hesketh

Black Studies - BA (Hons)

Laura is a dedicated, mature student who travels around 100 miles to get to BCU whilst working part-time in a law firm. She is currently finishing her Black Studies degree, through which  she has been enriched with a deeper understanding of her heritage, and aims to study Law at the University in the future, to ensure voices from marginalised communities are heard.

“I applied for this course after seeing it was the only one of its kind in the country. As a mixed-race woman who has often faced discrimination, finding this course has meant a lot to me.

Alongside my Black Studies course at BCU, I work two days a week at a solicitors in Merseyside. The commute into Birmingham from Liverpool takes two hours by train and, consequently, my time management skills have significantly improved! If I have early morning lectures, I often stay the night before at one of the local hotels – this has deepened my connection with the city. Not only this, but it enables me to get involved with extra-curricular activities and course-related events in the evenings at the University.

The biggest challenge I faced as a mature student was getting back into the swing of things. I finished formal education ten years ago and I had worried about my level of academic skills when joining university. Fortunately, the University has study sessions available to develop skills, which have helped with my academic writing and completing assignments.

Black Studies has enabled me to learn about my heritage, benefit from inspiring talks by key scholars and enjoy fascinating field trips, both in the UK and US. The talks are often given by people we have studied on the course, so it is great to see their experience come to life. There have also been many opportunities to get involved with the local community and initiate social change within this degree.

Within the Faculty, the academic staff for the course are all receptive, supportive and understanding. I’m proud to be part of a Faculty and student body that are radically changing the way we view and navigate society. I cannot stress how great and beneficial this course is, especially during this crucial time of change.

I’m striving to have a career that works alongside all marginalised communities; ensuring everyone feels understood, heard and seen. Black Studies by its very essence is rooted in community, and already I know I will keep this with me wherever life takes me. After completing my Black Studies degree, I’m hoping to continue my time at BCU to study Law, with the aim of developing my career prospects in the area, specifically in human rights.”

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