Antonette Hall

Education Studies (Joint Honours) BA/BSc (Hons)*

I have chosen to attend the University of Northampton because of the diversity of opportunities. Moreover, it is situated within a  diverse area of the country with a diverse student body. I knew I wanted to meet various groups of people and have a range of experiences to broaden my knowledge and perspective and become a more confident and well-rounded individual. In fact, the location of the new campus was close to my hometown enabling quick and easy travel.

Firstly, I have chosen to study BA Education Studies and Applied Social Care (Joint Honours) as I am passionate and interested in matters related to education, race and socio-economic outcomes, inequalities and inclusion. Secondly, my desire to study this course developed from personal experience of working within the education system as a Teaching Assistant for several years with disengaged and disadvantaged children and young people from low socio-economic backgrounds who are affected by social inequalities as well as a range of racial disparity. Due to the impacts of their circumstances and institutional operations (not individual choices), these students seemed to have reduced educational outcomes. Therefore, I wanted to gain more in-depth knowledge within this subject area and develop a better understanding of how to promote change within the education system. I have enjoyed the in-depth discussions around longstanding and contemporary challenges within the education system and social care sector. Most specifically, the literature research involved reading many articles within the British higher education system. As a result, I valued the skills obtained by seeking sources and constructing critical arguments from them. Finally, I have thoroughly enjoyed the professional and academic relationship that has developed between myself and some of the lecturers. It is truly inspiring to have someone who believes and see great potential in you.

I have learnt how to conduct primary empirical research and have developed a better understanding of the key Methodological principles. As a result, I have developed greater confidence in my academic writing and how to present the findings from the data collected using different tables and charts as well as narratives. I am now even more passionate about creating change and desire to promote Equality and Diversity within my future career. Besides, I have developed employability skills, such as,  confidence in presenting in public and developing and getting my point across more effectively, organisational skills and time management skills which are essential for future study and employment.

This course has helped to develop my research skills and contributed to my choice in furthering my studies at the University of Northampton. I have applied to complete a Master’s in education studies. I think this pathway will allow me to research, investigate and develop credentials within education. Indeed, I hope to further research equality and diversity themes but on a larger scale at the postgraduate level. My dissertation research project is likely to be the rationale for my Master’s dissertation. For the long term, I want to work in an educational setting as an educational psychologist.

During my dissertation, I have received tremendous support from senior lecturer Dr Emel Thomas, she has provided me with invaluable guidance and support throughout my research journey. Her sincerity and motivation have deeply inspired me to push myself to do even better. She has taught me how to conduct the research and how to present it clearly and It was a privilege to work and study under her supervision.

When I started this course I was aware of what statistics highlighted about BAME university students and the attainment gap between BAME students and our white counterparts ( to obtaining first-class or upper second class) to leaving university with I “good degree”. Well, I can confirm that with hard work, dedication, motivation and the right support from your allocated supervisor you can achieve the highest degree. Getting a First-Class honours degree at the end of my course shows that with hard work you can achieve regardless of your social and racial background. Furthermore, the tutors on this course are amazing, and their feedback is vital to improving your work and they are always there to support you. I like that this course doesn’t limit you, it explores current and relevant issues within the education and social care context and the discussions and debates are interesting. If, you are passionate about promoting equality and diversity and promoting social change this is the right course for you.

*UON no longer offers Joint Honours Programmes, but you can still study Education Studies BA (Hons) as a single honours course.