Phoebe White

Education Studies BA (Hons)

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When I finished my A levels, I took a couple of years out of education before starting university. I always knew I wanted a career that would allow me to have a positive impact on the lives of children and young people, but I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted this to look like.

I wanted to study a course that was centred around children and young people, but still offered the opportunity to explore different issues and disciplines. That’s when I came across the Education Studies degree. The course was rooted in childhood and education studies, but also focused upon a range of issues, from social care policy and teaching to psychology and philosophy. No two modules looked the same and they were all delivered by a team of experienced and specialised lecturers. The learning content excited me, and I viewed the course as an experience that would provide me with a strong foundation of knowledge, but that would also allow me the space to find out what motivated and inspired me the most. After reading through the modules further and looking at the career outcomes of the course, I was sold – it seemed perfect and exactly what I was looking for. If you’re someone who wants to work with children and young people, but you’re not exactly sure what profession you’d like to work in, I’d highly recommend the Education Studies course at the University of Northampton.

My favourite aspect of the course was the freedom it gave me in my learning. It was structured in a way that allowed me to study a variety of subjects in depth, but there was also a great deal of opportunity to focus on the specific issues I was most interested in through the assignments. Over the course of the degree, I completed assignments on a range of topics, from current social care policy to childhood in the medieval period! Every lecture was different and after each one, I left feeling inspired and full of ideas for future research and assignments. The course never felt dull or boring, and each module was taught by lecturers who were excited to teach, highly knowledgeable and encouraging of every student.

Studying Education Studies provided me with a strong foundation of knowledge and skills, so I was well placed to go into a range of postgraduate studies or enter several different professions. I went on to complete a master’s degree and am now working in what I’d describe as my dream role – I credit a lot of this to my undergraduate course. It allowed me to develop a love of writing and researching, as well as a strong understanding of how to produce work of the highest quality. The support of my lecturers was incredibly impactful on my personal development and enabled me to become confident in my own skills and abilities.

The writing and researching skills I learnt during the course are the most useful in my current position. They provided me with a robust and clear understanding of how to produce high quality and impactful social research, and I still refer to this learning in my day-to-day role.

I now work for a leading children’s rights charity as a Research and Policy Assistant, and I absolutely love it. My day-to-day work is varied – I can be doing anything from writing a research report, reviewing Government policies, or attending influencing events with Parliamentarians. I feel very fortunate to be working in a sector I’ve aspired to since completing my undergraduate degree, so my plan is to continue working in children’s policy and progress my career as far as I possibly can.

My time at UON was exciting, inspiring, and memorable, and the course gave me the confidence to be ambitious with my aspirations and sure of my own abilities. That’s something I’ll take with me throughout the rest of my career.

My advice to undergraduates interested in this career path would be to read lots, network with as many people as you can and believe in your own abilities!