School of Education

Student Profiles

Use the links below to navigate to our PGCEi student profiles to see what they say about their experience of the course and how it has helped with their professional development.


Bogdana Konotop - PGCEI studentBogdana Konotop

Home country: Ukraine
PGCEi cohort: Bangalore
Year of graduation: 2023 

Why did you choose to study at the University of Nottingham?

I chose to study at the university because of the flexibility it offers with its online courses. I had been thinking of taking a PGCE course to advance my teaching career, but with a full-time job it was not be possible. Therefore, the part-time PGCEi was an excellent solution for me.

How has the course helped you in your career?

The PGCEi has broadened my views and helped me to gain new insights into teaching and learning, which I believe will benefit me as an educator. I am also hoping that I can use this experience to advance my teaching career in the future. 

What do you want to do now you have completed the course?

I plan to keep developing my career as a kindergarten/early years teacher. 

Is there a specific module on the PGCEi course that you enjoyed the most?

I especially enjoyed Understanding Learning and Teaching in International Contexts, as it gave me an opportunity to explore a wide range of learning theories. I liked the flexibility of this module as it allowed me to focus on the theories I was interested in, so I could develop a deeper understanding of the relevant concepts.

What was the best part of the course?

I liked how approachable the tutors were and how flexible the course was, not only in terms of schedule, but also in terms of freedom of choosing a direction for my own research and topics for written assignments.

How have you been supported on this course?

The tutors were available to answer any question or address any concerns throughout the course. I’d like to thank my tutor, Jalpa Ruparelia, for her support and encouragement throughout the course from day one through to the submission of my last assignment and completion of the course. I truly appreciate it. 

If you were working while studying, how did you manage to balance job/course (and personal life)?

Balancing a full-time job and studying is always challenging. I also had to move countries midway through the course, which was an additional hassle. However, I feel that having a clear plan and knowing the deadlines for each assignment was truly beneficial. I also received some great advice from my tutor, whose guidance helped me form a strategy in order to successfully move from module to module.

Do you have any advice for someone considering the course?

Get familiar with the course outline, know what to expect in terms of assignments and deadlines and this course will become enjoyable journey. 


Ying Cao - PGCEi student - Hong Kong cohortYing Cao

Home country: China
PGCEi cohort: Hong Kong 
Year of graduation: 2022


Why did you choose to study at the University of Nottingham?

Choosing to study at the University of Nottingham turned out to be a great fit for me. I started to work as a teaching assistant at an international school a couple of years ago and I became quite passionate about learning as much as I could about international education. With the suggestion from my principal, I started to investigate options to further my study in this area. I have quite a few colleagues that had studied at Nottingham before and they all spoke highly of the university and the course. Therefore, when it came to my own PGCEi studies, Nottingham was one of the universities I researched and compared with other universities and finally chose.

How has the course helped you in your career?

The course has helped me greatly in better understanding how to support my students with their academic growth, social development, and connection to their studies. After completing the course, I was able to transfer my role from teaching assistant to early years teacher. I have now been in the role of a teacher for almost a year and it is really great to apply what I have learnt during the course to my daily work with the students.

What do you want to do now you have completed the course?

I am looking forward to beginning my postgraduate journey in education with the university in the very near future. 

Is there a specific module on the PGCEi course that you enjoyed the most?

This is a challenge to answer, as I liked all the modules, but the last module (inquiring into educational practice) gave us an opportunity to build on the first two modules of study and connect the research directly to our students and everyday classroom situations. It helped me transfer and connect knowledge of the learned theories of education, its aims and values, and learning and teaching methodologies into my classroom practice. It definitely enabled me to better appreciate and assist my own students with their own learning and understanding.

How have you been supported on this course?

Perhaps I can put this into a list:

  • University - the online library was such a good supporting resource
  • Tutor - an experienced tutor, replying to any questions, concerns, and needs in a speedy and informative manner, providing excellent guidance
  • Peers – information and resources shared in our Wechat group was essential
  • Colleagues – very supportive and always ready for a pedagogical discussion
  • Family – helped me with my time management, ensuring I could best manage my work-life balance
  • School – helped me find a mentor and enabled my research opportunities 

The Wechat group we organised and set up for those peers that were in China during the study was a really positive support tool and provided wonderful and lasting connections. We shared our thoughts about certain articles, modules, and resources, and reminded each other about deadlines and other course needs. It actually felt like we were a team and, as such, it really was a stimulating and collaborative effort at times. I really enjoyed everyone’s company while doing this challenging learning journey together. 

If you were working while studying, how did you manage to balance job/course (and personal life)?

Before taking the course, I was working full-time, a mother of two young children, and already trying to maintain a work-life balance. So then to put study on top of this, was challenging – but so rewarding. I would say it was not a battle that I undertook alone, the support of my family and colleagues was so appreciated. The set-up of the course, also gave us the opportunity to choose the most convenient time to plan and do our study. It was flexible enough, but the structure and course information also enabled me to plan ahead. For me, studying a couple of hours at night, every night, after the children were asleep, allowed me to devote myself fully to my job during working hours, and also gave me the precious time to spend with my family that I needed during the weekends. 

Why do you think students should choose this course?

It definitely helps with educators who are willing and want to work internationally. The study builds a strong theoretic base and has many thought-provoking and reflection-triggering readings and videos. It also offers great real-life connections to your students. I am absolutely an even better teacher after successfully navigating this course.

Do you have any advice for someone considering this course?

Stay strong and positive, take one step at a time. Reach out when you need to, but know that with a determined mind, you will grow, succeed and benefit.


Shafinaz Buruhanudeen
Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia cohort

Atupelekyala Mdeza 
Nairobi - East Africa cohort


Louise Thorpe
Shanghai - China cohort

Mark Jones
Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia cohort


Rehema Parmena
Nairobi - East Africa cohort


School of Education

University of Nottingham
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