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Declan Heron

BSc (Hons) Computing

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My degree has given me multiple opportunities that I would not have received otherwise. I would not have been able to achieve my goals without the Fastrack programme at Edge Hill University.

Education is something that has always been a passion for me, throughout most of my life the majority of what I have learned has been through self-study. I spent a few years out of education after struggling with college. Whilst researching degrees I realised that university was the perfect way to take the studying I had been doing as a hobby and turn it into something that could reshape my future.

Edge Hill stood out to me specifically because of the Fastrack programme. I did not get what I wanted out of college, I needed a different route to achieve my dream of being a computing teacher, Fastrack was this opportunity. Growing up in Ormskirk also helped me finalise my decision to study at Edge Hill University. I have only ever heard good praise from anyone, whether it be staff or students.

I would not have been able to achieve my goals without the Fastrack programme at Edge Hill University. After college I lost confidence in my academic abilities and Fastrack helped me to build my confidence back up, even higher than it was before.

My favourite thing about studying BSc (Hons) Computing at Edge Hill University is the technology and facilities they have here. I have been able to use industry standard equipment, even in my first year. Being able to use the 3D CAVE (Computer Augmented Virtual Environment), 3D printers and a range of robots for my studies has made my degree fun. Watching a robot dance or do Taekwondo brings a very different dynamic to lectures or seminars.

My lecturers have been a vital part in my journey at Edge Hill University. As someone with autism, sometimes I experience some different and unique challenges, all my lecturers have gone above and beyond to help me overcome these. One specific example was when I had trouble doing some group work, my study skills tutor helped me adapt to the unfamiliar environment over a few weeks, so that when the time came it was not a big deal for me.

My degree has given me multiple opportunities that I would not have received otherwise. The first one was the opportunity to become a course representative and represent my peers. This was not an opportunity that I would have seen myself doing before I came to university, however through earning the respect of my peers and being able to help people with various issues, it is an opportunity that has brought a new aspect to my degree.

My degree has already helped me enhance my employability, through various certifications such as Microsoft Office as well as developing a professional online appearance.

The best thing about Edge Hill University for me is the people. My studies have allowed me to interact with more people than I ever have, each person having their unique story to tell. Learning about different lifestyles, cultures, and backgrounds has become a hobby of mine, even leading me to learn new languages.

When I finish my degree, I plan to progress onto a postgraduate certificate inĀ education (PGCE), I want to become a computing teacher and pass my unique knowledge on to others.

The support I have received from Edge Hill University has been vastly different to any in my previous education. The various support teams at Edge Hill such as the SpLD Team (Specific Learning Difficulties Team) and the Inclusion Team are always there to help. At Edge Hill I have received support throughout every aspect of my degree, from applying to university to receiving assessment modifications.

Earning a University Scholarship for my work on Fastrack was both a surprise and the best recognition I could have. My scholarship has helped me fund some of the more specialist equipment that I needed to tackle some of the issues I have faced, allowing me to be the best I can be.

The advice I would give to anyone considering studying at Edge Hill University would be to come and see the campus and the facilities, the transition to university is much easier when you already know where you will be studying and what Edge Hill has to offer.

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