Meet our alumni
Philippa joined De Montfort University (DMU) Students' Union when she graduated, and has now secured a Widening Participation (WP) Officer role there.
As a WP Officer, I work with students (years 6-10) from under-represented and potentially disadvantaged backgrounds to give them information, advice and guidance about university. These are students who may not have friends, family or other influences in their lives that have knowledge of or went to university, so the information we provide is crucial. We deliver this through stalls at careers fairs, assemblies, targeted activities and experience days on the DMU campus.
There has been a lot of learning about the widening participation world...but it has linked in really well with the social mobility side of my degree that I was always passionate about. We as a team are also about to start working with IntoUniversity as the charity are opening a hub in Leicester. I am very excited for that after my work there as a placement student and it was really why I went for the WP Officer role.
Philippa Manning - 2023
Charlotte is working as a SEND Information Advice and Support Officer for a Yorkshire-based local authority, supporting families and young people with SEND access education. She is also studying the Independent Provider of Special Education Advice qualification levels 1-3.
After graduating, Elizabeth stayed with the University of Nottingham as a postgraduate nursing student.
Ewan went to work as a Recruitment Consultant at Teaching Personnel, an education recruitment agency.
Sophie joined a nonprofit organisation, GreenSquareAccord, working as a Portfolio Support Officer.
Hear what they have to say about:
You can also read about more about Elizabeth, Philippa, Ewan and Sophie's placement experience - the organisations they went to, the learning and how it has helped them since graduating. Please visit our placements page for more information.
Why did you choose this course?
I wanted to go into teaching, but have a deep knowledge of education.
I chose to study this course because I was really interested in the education system and alternative education and I wanted to learn more. I was also keen on exploring roles other than teaching within the education sector.
I was considering teaching as I have always enjoyed working with children and teaching them as a Scout Leader.
I always had an interest in education but was not sure if I wanted to go into teaching. The course covered lots of areas I had an interest in and enjoyed learning about.
I chose to study the course as I thought the modules sounded interesting and varied. Due to the breadth of the course I hoped it would open up different options at the end of university as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study.
What did you enjoy the most about the course?
It opened my eyes to how education works and evolves outside the classroom.
I liked that the course had a social justice focus, and I really enjoyed the small cohort size, as I was able to get to know all of my peers and tutors well and we had some really interesting discussions in seminars. I loved the alternative methods of teaching and assessment we were able to try, as well as seeing the impact of student voice and opinion on the course.
I enjoyed how passionate all the lecturers were about their respective subjects. It made for really engaging lectures and modules. The course was also very small so it meant we really got to know each other and our lecturers. This helped whenever we had a question or did not understand a module as the support was more tailored to the individual.
During the course I enjoyed my placement at a local primary school and working with others that had similar interests. The highlight of the course was a trip to Sweden to visit Lund University.
I loved the trip to Lund and the other trips out such as Lea Green. The variety of different assignments was ideal as it gave me different experiences and a way to be creative. Mostly I enjoyed how much thought, effort and passion the lecturers put into their sessions!
How did your University of Nottingham degree support your career ambitions?
It supported me to work in a different field of education outside the classroom.
I feel like I have learnt so much about education, and I am really looking forward to applying it in my future nursing role. I am currently looking into becoming a nurse specialist or a community public health nurse when I graduate from this degree, and I know that my knowledge of learning and development will be really helpful. Ultimately I would love to combine my passion for education with my work in healthcare.
Even in my hospital placement during this course I have found it useful to know how best to talk to children and young people about their health, in addition to different ways of communicating with families. I also have a greater understanding of social justice issues and hope to make a difference through future healthcare work. I am more confident in my academic abilities, and these are invaluable in a masters level course where critical writing is required. I will also have to complete a dissertation in my current course, and I feel ready to face the challenge of conducting my own research and writing a longer piece of work again, thanks to my undergraduate degree. The BA Education degree involved elements of reflection upon experiences and values, and this is a really integral part of my nursing course.
My degree has really helped me become the person I am today. My family commented on how much I have grown in confidence and how passionate I am about education. I had an idea to create a peer mentoring scheme for the BA Education course and approached my course leader, who supported the idea and wanted me to deliver it. I researched, recruited mentors, developed a system of pairing mentees with mentors and ran mentoring sessions. This helped me to research, plan and deliver my own project, which was amazing for my CV, but also to have the confidence to take my own ideas forward. My current job is based upon running the Students' Union mentoring scheme, which without the support of my lecturers encouraging me to deliver the course-based scheme, I would not have the job.
I am now in a role I really enjoy that is relevant to my degree. My understanding of how schools work and operate is a really helpful foundation for my work. When speaking with schools they value my degree highly, this helps with my integrity and knowledge compared to other consultants.
My career goal is to be a project manager for a refugee charity. I found my passion for refugees and refugee education at Nottingham in one of my modules. After completing the Education Beyond Boarders module, I then tried to do my other assignments around refugees as this is what I found interesting. From university I applied to go on the Charityworks Graduate Scheme...and I am now on the scheme. My degree equipped me with a lot of knowledge around the education sector, I learnt how to write academic assignments and how to read academic work. I learnt how to critically analyse theories and how to create presentations. More importantly my degree enabled me to explore different avenues until I found my passion.
Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities?
- I took an Nottingham Advantage Award module called 'Experience Heritage' where I was able to work alongside the education department at the National Justice Museum
- I volunteered as a Learning Advocate for Students in Classrooms, which meant that I worked one day a week as a reading assistant with children who have English as an additional language in a primary academy in Nottingham
- In my first and second year I was a member of a student-led volunteering project which designed resources and ran workshops about immigration and discrimination in local secondary schools
All three of these roles built on my learning from my placement and degree, giving me a better understanding of roles within the education sector, and helped me to narrow down my future career aspirations.
Within the university
- Scout and Guides Society
- Course representative for two years
- Created and ran a peer mentoring scheme for the BA Education course
Outside the university
You can also find out more about the activities our current students have been involved in during their time with us. Please visit out student activities page.
What advice would you give to a student starting the BA Education course in the future?
Don't buy any textbooks! (You can borrow any book you will need from the university libraries).
I would suggest that you try and speak up and ask questions in seminars and lectures, as the tutors are all really enthusiastic and want you to get the most out of your time here. I'd also recommend getting in touch with the tutor after the session if there is something you still can't quite get your head around! Also, try to take advantage of all of the societies and volunteering opportunities, as these can help to shape your future career and provide invaluable experience, as well as be a great opportunity for making friends on different courses.
Definitely go for it! I was unsure at first, especially as I had already done two years on another course, which I ended up not liking. But it was definitely the best decision.
Having such a small course means you can really get to know your course mates. This was really interesting as there were people from all over the world studying and as education is something everyone has been through, in some way, it meant we all had something in common to start conversations!
The lecturers are really passionate and inspiring with regards to their subject areas and are always willing to support you academically and personally. If you have an idea, have the confidence and belief in yourself to speak up. I am so glad I did with the peer mentoring scheme and everyone was so supportive.
Take all of the opportunities the course and university through at you and have fun whilst doing so!
I would advise students to pick the brains of their lecturers, especially if they work in particular areas of interest. Organising a placement you are interested in is also going to prepare you for a career after university.
Make sure you take the different opportunities offered to you and always put effort into modules even if you do not think they are the most interesting or the avenue you want to go down. You never know when that knowledge will be required!