Dawn Yardley

Education Studies and English Language and Communication

Dawn Yardley

The department is very personable which makes you feel welcome. Additionally my classes were usually quite small which made the lecturers very accessible. I also found the facilities to be very good including a 24-hour computer room and a well-stocked library, with many of the books also available electronically

Prior to my degree I worked for twelve years in the electronics industry and gradually achieved the position of accounts manager. After this I travelled New Zealand and South East Asia, and on my return I undertook a foundation course with the Open University which inspired me to apply for a full-time course at Oxford Brookes.

I live in Oxford and therefore studying within the city meant that I didn't have to move away. However, I did look around at other universities and as it turned out, the course that I was most interested in, Education Studies combined with English Language and Communication, was offered at Oxford Brookes.

The modular nature of the degree programme has allowed me to tailor the course towards my personal interests. Each semester we typically choose four modules from a range of interesting topics, and because some aspects of the course overlap with other degree programmes I also have the option to select modules from other fields which I feel best suit my needs.

Since beginning my degree I have learnt to question things in more detail rather than just accept the obvious. For example when reading or listening to the news I now critically analyse what is said and evaluate what is actually meant. This is as a result of analysing a range of academic sources for my assignments which has inadvertently taught me to focus my reading and write objectively. The course has also helped me to develop my presentation skills which has increased my confidence in both facilitating a class and public speaking.

All students are allocated an academic advisor which is useful for general guidance. In addition, module leaders are good to go to if you require further support with a module. I also found other students to be very supportive. They too are facing similar challenges and we would often team up to tackle some of the more complex tasks.

The department is very personable which makes you feel welcome. Additionally my classes were usually quite small which made the lecturers very accessible. I also found the facilities to be very good including a 24-hour computer room and a well-stocked library, with many of the books also available electronically.

The best thing about living in Oxford is that there is always something for you to do, whatever your interests. I particularly enjoy the cosy cafes and ‘oldy worldy’ style pubs that are unique to Oxford. There are also a vast range of restaurants that cater to everyone's taste due to the ethnic diversity of Oxford.

After completing my degree, I hope to continue studying at Oxford Brookes and plan to undertake the secondary PGCE course so that I can pursue my aspirations of becoming a teacher.