From the workplace to a Masters
Firstly, I want to give you a quick insight into my journey with Leeds Beckett and one of the main reasons why I chose to study my Masters with Leeds Beckett. I was an Undergraduate student at Leeds Beckett University from 2014 to 2017 where I graduated in Criminology. I was very satisfied and happy with my journey at the university throughout my Undergraduate degree and thoroughly enjoyed my experiences here. Therefore, it was an easy decision for me to make when I applied for my masters through Clearing two years later.
Before I applied for my Masters through Clearing, I was working with the NHS within the Mental Health sector. I was very happy with my job and enjoyed my work. I was lucky to be part of a wonderful team of colleagues. I always knew I wanted to come back to university and do a Masters, but along the way I started working and my experiences lead me elsewhere. Finally, circumstances felt right, and I made the decision to apply for my PGCE. It was July 2019 and so I applied through Clearing.
The application process
I created a UCAS account and started my application. There were limited options available as many providers had already filled up all spaces as applications for the PGCE course had been open since October 2018. This was a huge setback for me as I felt my chances of securing a space onto the course were minimal or non-existent. Nevertheless, I was determined and continued with my online UCAS application. This took me five days to complete as I wanted to perfect my personal statement and ensure that I gave myself a fair chance at standing out.
I submitted my application to Leeds Beckett and waited eagerly to hear back. I knew that I had applied quite late and was prepared to face rejection. However, the following week once my references and application had gone through, I received an email from the course leaders at Leeds Beckett requesting a phone call to arrange a skype interview. I was extremely excited to hear back from the university and for the first time I was actually excited that I may actually have a chance at securing a place on the course.
My interviewA few days later I received a call from the course leader, and he asked me why I wanted to study a PGCE, since my undergraduate degree and work profession were in a totally different sector. After a lengthy call and pleasant conversation, we arranged a date for a skype interview where I would be interviewed regarding securing a place on the course. Within the interview I was asked about various aspects and qualities related to the course. I was told what was expected of me, and in return what I can expect from the course providers and university. The conversation was very pleasant, and I instantly felt comfortable and at ease. As the phone call ended, he offered me a conditional place on the course if I met all the conditions. These were a few security documents checks e.g. DBS, Passport etc. and the skills test (Mandatory government test in order to complete a PGCE).
Offered a placeI was delighted to have received an offer and I started working on all of the preparations in order for me to be cleared and secure a place on the course. The skills tests were challenging for me and it took me a few tries before I passed them. I was so grateful and lucky to be given the chance to complete the tests before October 2019, even though the course started on 3rd September 2019. By the time term started, I had still not passed the skills test therefore my offer was still conditional. However, Leeds Beckett still allowed me to attend the university lectures whilst alongside still trying to meet all the requirements which I was extremely grateful for. This meant that I did not miss out on any course content whilst I worked on passing the test, which was very useful. Thankfully, I managed to pass the skills tests and I was offered my place on the course.
I feel like my experience through Clearing was very thorough and well supported. I was given the support and guidance on how to secure my place and I was given options and time to meet all the requirements. I would definitely recommend applying through Clearing and not waiting another year just because you hit a few hurdles, as the university will support you through the initial process right to the end of your course.