My name is Hannah and I’m from Cheshire. Having recently graduated I now work in Uganda for a charity called Soft Power Education. I studied Business, Law and Art A-level at Sir John Deane’s College but did not have a clear career path in mind. After much deliberation I applied successfully to Leeds to study Childhood Studies which I loved. Alongside working and studying I enjoy painting, and spend much of my free time volunteering.
Why I decided to study BA Childhood Studies at Leeds
One of the main reason why I decided to apply to Leeds was because of the memorable open day I attended. As well as being very kindly welcomed by both the Union and School of Education staff, I felt the city would be a great a place to call home for the next 3 years. The course offered a wide range of different, exciting modules and provided the opportunity to take 'discovery modules', something which other universities did not offer.
Why I'm passionate about Childhood Studies
Since I have worked with children from a young age, I have always had a passion to work in the field of childhood. The course encouraged me to think outside of my personal experience and to consider the perspective of others; their profession, age, disability and culture. No matter what the subject of discussion, it was thrilling to take part in debates using contemporary critical theory. This made me realise the importance of the study of Childhood, as there are always current debates in the media which leads to endless critical discussions. I was also passionate about learning how the environment and other professions can have such an impact to a child and their development.
What I enjoyed most about the BA Childhood Studies
I hugely enjoyed the journey of the course through the three years of study. From meeting a range of interesting people and listening to their experiences, to making long life friends, I also appreciated that the course offered such a board spectrum of topics. As well as sharing a joint passion with my course members, it was fantastic to have a wide range of people from different backgrounds to hear their views and opinions. The course size was smaller than I anticipated but this actually made lectures and seminars more enjoyable, as tutors were open to ideas. I always felt like everyone was being heard.
The learning facilities for me personally were fantastic. The computer cluster was a wonderful working environment to escape from Eddy b (Edward Boyle Library), and the close proximity to the kitchen meant I could easily make myself a much needed cup of tea during stressful times! The common room became a place for me to wind down and see some familiar faces, which kept me motivated through the more challenging parts of the years.
The support from the staff at the School of the Education has been phenomenal. I found the mixture of moving away from home and struggling with dyslexia challenging at times, however the kind words from the staff, be it my lecturer, personal tutor or dissertation supervisor, provided me with the positive support that enabled me to remain determined. Being the course representative gave me the opportunity to build a very strong relationship with the school, where I witnessed first- hand the care and support they provide their students. The passion that they gave not only to their own areas of research but to the students was absolutely inspirational.
Leeds University Union offers a whole range of different clubs and societies. I was involved in the Leeds RAG society throughout my three years at Leeds. I was a volunteer on the Leeds RAG Uganda Project 2012, volunteering for 4 weeks building and renovating on school sites with Soft Power Education, and I was a leader for the new Leeds RAG Peru project 2013 and managed 24 volunteers for 2 months teaching English and made a total fundraising target of £15,854.86. My involvement in RAG led me to become the Project Manager on the Leeds RAG committee, where I managed 22 leaders across 5 different international projects.
Life in Leeds
Leeds is vibrant and lively, and full of students! The shops are marvellous, as are the bars and clubs. In fact, a student is pretty spoilt for choice where nightlife is concerned. There is always something going on, whether it be the Christmas markets, Ice skating rink or even a car boot sale to pick up some bargains. I have absolutely loved being able to go and explore the different parts of Leeds city Centre. Outside the busy city are some beautiful parks and places to wind down.
Studying at Leeds allowed me to think differently about making choices in my career path. As a result I have landed myself in a job I never dreamt of doing; but absolute loving every minute of it.
I would highly recommend it the course to prospective students. Not only does the course offer a wide range of different modules and topics but they are delivered by invaluable, supportive lecturers.
Also: never doubt yourself, aim high, remain positive and grab every opportunity that comes your way!