Why I returned to Leeds Beckett to do a masters in PE

Student spotlight | Olivia Firth, MA Physical Education and Youth Sport


Olivia Firth

Sports coach Olivia returned to Leeds Beckett to complete a Masters in PE. Through the support of her lecturers and the experiences made available to her during her study, Olivia was able to expand her experience of working with people of all ages and abilities, opening up new career possibilities after graduation.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to studying an MA in Physical Education and Youth Sport

I’ve always known I wanted to do something involving sport for my career choice but wasn’t sure exactly what area I wanted to focus on. I have been a sports coach for over six years, and I work seasonally at a well-known sports camp in Bradford, for which I am the Site Manager.

I did my undergraduate degree in physical education so I thought the Masters would be a great follow-on opportunity for me to enable myself to gain further skills, understanding and enhance my subject knowledge. The course module choices were everything I love to study, such as leadership and pedagogy, with some sociology-based elements, so this helped settle my decision to complete a Masters. I also liked the youth sport aspect to the course as this is something I didn’t have a lot of experience in, and it has been great to experience teaching and learning for different students’ ages and abilities.

What made you choose Leeds Beckett University?

I chose to continue my studies for my postgraduate at Leeds Beckett due to the amazing opportunities and experiences I gained at undergrad level. The staff are all so helpful and friendly, and ensure that you get the most out of your time at Beckett and the course. The sports and campus facilities are also second to none!

What opportunities have you had on your course?

I’ve been provided with so many experience days, such as abseiling and adventurous activities, lecture opportunities, writing opportunities and amazing quality taught lectures and seminars. Even throughout Covid-19 and being at home, the level of support never dropped and the commitment to learning was so reassuring in that difficult time.

As part of one of my modules, Advanced Leadership, we got to experience the outdoors and the outdoor learning environment first-hand doing activities such as blind line, crate stack and delivering a leadership day to a group of sixth form students. This really enabled me to look at different career options and work with people I wouldn’t normally work with.

I’ve been able to attend lectures online with people around the world and well-known publishers which has opened up so many more doors for writing opportunities and also enabled me to get a deeper understanding on subjects for assessments.

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

Take every opportunity which is given to you – there will be a lot – and even if you don’t think you need it at the time, it always finds a place to become useful. Beckett provides a great support network and team, and as long as you put the effort in, you’ll gain great things from both the course and the university team.

What will your story be?

Studying with us is a great choice, check out some of our courses and see for yourself!

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