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How my course gave me the confidence I needed

Student spotlight | Chloe Smith, BA (Hons) Teaching and Education

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Chloe Smith

Chloe Smith is studying BA (Hons) Teaching and Education at Leeds Beckett University. She shares with us how the opportunity to go on different placements and speaking with professionals throughout her study allowed her to explore different career options.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to BA (Hons) Teaching and Education?

I’ve always had an interest in education studies. The versatile nature of ‘education’ on the course at Leeds Beckett meant I’d be able to explore many different fields of study, including teaching, community support, social work and youth offending. I always thought my aspirations would lead me into teaching, but the placements and professionals I encountered whilst studying at Leeds Beckett shaped a new perception of the careers available to me, allowing me to consider different fields and specific interests.

I enjoyed the idea of independent learning and allowing myself to develop my own critical mindset as a practitioner. From reading about the experiences of other students online, and from speaking to the university tutors, I knew that studying here would not only develop my academic ability to write, but also allow me to focus on my personal/professional development.

What made you choose Leeds Beckett University?

Leeds Beckett for me was an easy choice. I love the city and the university Open Day made me feel supported and comfortable to voice any concerns about university life. It became clear quite early on that the student support as well as the courses offered were of a high standard, as well as the tutors, who could not have been more helpful.

The Carnegie School of Education provides its own Pastoral Team within the school, which provides many different services to support its students. Hearing about the Wellbeing Service drew my attention as no other university I had applied to seemed to have dedicated so much time into ensuring their students had access to mental health, financial, academic and emotional support like Leeds Beckett had.

Prior to securing Leeds Beckett as my firm choice I had travelled up and down the UK for course interviews and open days. Leeds Beckett stood out as an obvious choice from the way the courses were explained to us, the detailed tours of campus and the opportunities to explore the different societies, amenities and opportunities available to us.

The tutors are proud to teach their courses. At the open days, they displayed high levels of professionalism and care for their students. I was worried by the idea of university to begin with, the rumours of ridiculously large class sizes and hardly any contact time with tutors didn’t appeal to me, but at Leeds Beckett this wasn’t the case. The small seminar groups appealed greatly as they promoted a flexible learning environment, which would improve my confidence and give me more opportunities for feedback.

How has your course helped you?

The teaching quality on my course has been fantastic. Doug and Jon (two of my tutors) are really friendly and make sure you always understand the work. Despite the university learning having been online for the past year (due to being locked down during the pandemic), I experienced no difference in the quality of learning or the pastoral support made available to me. My tutors have been more than happy to book one to ones at short notice to discuss any issues or questions I’ve had. They have always allowed us great opportunities to contribute to our own learning and voice our opinions. This support has allowed me to make massive personal developments in my ability to critically reflect and write, which has meant I have obtained high grades all final year.

My skills in academic writing and experience of my undergraduate degree have prepared me significantly for future postgraduate study. The course allowed me to explore many different career pathways and target my specific interests into which was the right career choice for me. I cannot stress enough how great the tutors and course content have been! I have genuinely really loved my time studying here.

What has been your favourite thing about your time studying at Carnegie School of Education? 

My favourite part of studying at Leeds Beckett, apart from the degree itself, has to be how friendly everyone has been and the friendships I have made. Headingley Campus is in a great location and the accommodation Leeds Beckett provides has always been convenient, clean and enjoyable to be in. I’ve experienced living in the city and the suburbs, and can confidently say that Leeds is one of the best student cities to live in and study. From the amazing people you meet, to the social scene and nightlife available it’s been so much fun and really helps you grow as a person.

What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course?

If I could give one piece of useful advice to anyone considering this course it is to not rush your choice. There are so many options available to you and you need to make sure you visit these places in person (where able) or genuinely engage in online open days in a wide variety of different places so you can see what really does appeal to you and what doesn’t. Even if you think aspects of the course interest you, ASK QUESTIONS! Just because this course suited me really well does not mean that it will for you, make sure you ask about anything that is on your mind or that you’re curious about; there is no ridiculous question, I can promise you. The tutors and course guidance at Leeds Beckett have heard it all and their only interest is to ensure you feel confident with your decision and have no reservations or anxiety about it being the right place for you.

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