I was keen to find a course which would enhance my professional learning and leadership skills. I wanted to do something a little different when I started my first role in senior leadership at a large specialist school as head of autism research and development.
I contacted Edge Hill University to see what would be of interest to me and was helpfully guided towards a MA Education course. The modules were of huge interest to me and so I immediately signed up.
I felt like Edge Hill University was with me at each stage of my career progression, so I wanted to continue my journey with the same institution when I was ready for the next step up. I originally came to Edge Hill to study teacher training in 2009 and returned again in 2014 to complete a postgraduate certificate.
As an independent consultant and public speaker, I enjoy critical thinking and debate. Academic writing has historically been a weaker point for me but since starting my Masters I am much better at writing.
Using the feedback provided and resources available to me, I gained my first ever distinction. Receiving this grade still feels like a pivotal moment in my life, because it made me realise what I was capable of.
Completing this course has not only improved my critical writing and ability to lead positive change in my own places of work, but it has also given me opportunities to reframe the problems I have identified in education as opportunities to find improved solutions.
One of the most memorable moments of my degree so far is finding out that I had been nominated for a Festival of Learning Award for my commitment to learning. I was even more shocked to be informed that I had been awarded the Patron’s Award presented by HRH Princess Anne.
My favourite thing about this course is the alignment with my own interests. I like that I am able to weave my own experiences and thinking into each module, which gives me opportunities to develop thinking in the areas I feel most passionate about.
The opportunity to study here at Edge Hill was transformational. When I first started my teaching degree in 2009, I had little self-belief and found myself often questioning whether I belonged at university.
The expertise of the teaching staff on my course has been inspirational and I have also benefitted from the well being support that is on offer. I’d recommend to all students to find out what additional support is available to you. After starting my course at Edge Hill my stepfather sadly passed away. The University quickly ensured that I had support in place which included counselling.
During my MA course, I have benefitted from 1:1 check-in meetings with my tutor who helped me to share my progress and identify actions. I found it helpful as I would leave each meeting feeling reenergised and clear about what I needed to do next.
I have recently established an educational trust in memory of my sister who sadly passed away following treatment for leukaemia in 2019. Lilya was autistic and an advocate for other neurodivergent people. We hope to create a neurodiverse-inclusive school and workplace, working in collaboration with children and their families.
As part of our trust philosophy, we aim to become evidence informed by creating environments which are underpinned by a commitment to academic research and learning as a core component of the way we do things. We want to then share this learning with the wider world.
My advice for anyone considering studying at Edge Hill would be to choose a course which is aligned with your personal interests. It makes it easier to engage in critical thinking and writing when you are motivated by the topics that you are studying.