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Mark Coulstock

Mark Coulstock

English and Creative Writing - BA (Hons)

Due to various medical conditions, Mark had always struggled to pursue his career in creative writing. After managing a pub for 25 years, he finally decided to follow his dreams, which wouldn’t have been possible without all the financial, academic and personal support Mark has received from the University.

“I've always wanted to pursue higher education but time, money and personal issues got in the way. I was a pub manager for 25 years and I just felt too old to do an undergraduate degree. Last year, various events in my life made me re-evaluate what I really want to do in the future and I couldn’t be happier about my decision to become a student at BCU.

I suffer from anxiety and I have numerous medical conditions, including epilepsy, that have made it very difficult to pursue the career I wanted so coming to university was a huge gamble. I knew that I have had a very different journey to everyone else on my course, but I soon realised that everyone is here for the same experience and having like-minded people around made it easy to come out of my shell.

When I joined BCU I instantly received a warm welcome. Throughout my time at university I have made some fantastic new friends from all over the world. I enjoy the buzz of discussions in the seminars where everyone shares their opinion and ideas – it is a very motivating and inspiring environment.

BCU has been very supportive, even when the issues are not linked directly to the course itself. Having both academic and personal support made me believe in myself again. I’m no longer afraid of asking for help - I know it will be there for me any time. Staff place student wellbeing as a high priority and without all the support I have received it would be impossible for me to continue to stay on the course and achieve my career goals.

My dream is to hone my writing skills and have my work published, and it’s amazing to notice improvements in my writing skills already. I can feel that I’ve changed as a person since becoming a student – I used to run away from problems and avoid challenges, but now I can finally embrace them as my confidence has grown massively.

Being a student at BCU means being part of a community. We're all here together as one. Let’s share that experience with each other.”

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