Early Childhood Studies, 2013
“I was attracted to the programme by the balance of theory and practical experience involved. I wasn’t sure when I started at Oxford Brookes what I wanted to do after graduating and I felt that the number of placements offered allowed me to gain valuable practical experience to help make a decision about what to pursue for a career”
Before starting her Early Childhood Studies degree at Oxford Brookes, Becky studied Law, History and Literary Studies at Reading College and had work and volunteering experience with young children in school and nursery settings.
As I gained more experience in schools, I knew I was interested in child development and wanted to learn more about it. However, I also knew that I wasn’t interested in becoming a teacher. A degree in Early Childhood Studies looked like the best option as it would allow me to focus on my interests without leading directly to a teaching qualification.
I was attracted to the programme by the balance of theory and practical experience involved. I wasn’t sure when I started at Oxford Brookes what I wanted to do after graduating and I felt that the number of placements offered allowed me to gain valuable practical experience to help make a decision about what to pursue for a career. I enjoyed being able to choose modules specific to my interests. Through this, I was able to tailor my programme of study to fit my academic interests while beginning to reflect the area I aimed to work in after graduating.
Oxford is a great city to live in. It’s a student city so there is always a lot going on. It also has plenty of open spaces for when you want to relax a little. It has great transport links as well, making it really easy to visit family and friends or have them come and visit you.
The whole teaching team were really enthusiastic and passionate about the area they were teaching. They were great at providing examples of how the theory being discussed in class linked with real world practice. Mary Wild and Nick Swarbrick in particular were both excellent throughout the course. They were always prepared to make the time to meet with and support individual students.
Significant skills that I gained on the course include the ability to carry out research, to write reports and to communicate with a wide range of people. Research is an important skill for a lot of employers and a lot of jobs require the capacity to find information and present it concisely and accurately. I also volunteered with KEEN Oxford, a local charity which runs activities for children and young adults with special educational needs and disabilities. This greatly enhanced all the theory I was learning in lectures as well as giving me additional skills and experiences to take with me on placements.
The charity is mostly made up of student volunteers and was a great experience for me. As well as getting a lot of experience in working one-to-one with children and young adults I was also able to gain experience in planning and leading sessions and in supporting the charity behind the scenes. It was also a great way to meet people studying a wide range of courses both at Oxford Brookes and at Oxford University, as well as to connect and get involved with the local community.
I have just finished a year-long internship at Oxford Brookes, working for the Development and Alumni Relations Office and I’m about to start working for the National Museum Wales as a Development Assistant. I’m really looking forward to using all the skills and experiences I developed through both studying and working at Brookes as I begin my career in fundraising.