Rebecca Woodgate

Rebecca Woodgate

...being able to study a degree in the subject that I want to, in a college that is in driving distance is brilliant for me.

Rebecca Woodgate

Foundation degree in Animal Conservation, Bridgwater and Taunton College

Over the last couple of years I have completed a Level 3 diploma in Countryside Management and have been volunteering with Butterfly Conservation, Somerset Wildlife Trust and several other organisations and have loved every minute of it. I am passionate about conservation and enjoy all aspects of it. Doing the degree in Animal Conservation at Bridgwater and Taunton College is allowing me to broaden my knowledge and will hopefully make me more employable.

The course covers a variety of different aspects of conservation which gives us a broader understanding of how the conservation industry works. Studying a wide range of modules and getting more experience with our work placements is invaluable. The college has good links with the industry in Somerset, so students gain lots of relevant experience.

As a single parent, I don’t have the option of studying wherever I want in the country. So being able to study a degree in the subject that I want to, in a college that is in driving distance is brilliant for me.

The facilities are great - there are extensive grounds and a range of animals to work with. I have been able to do extra training there and the HE students have their own library which is a great space for us. The staff are great and all have different teaching styles. They give very interesting lectures and have a wealth of knowledge but are also very approachable when you need help or advice.

I have used Oxford Brookes discover online quite regularly to access journal articles which is a great resource. The student support team are always available to help and they have been brilliant for me.

For me, life is currently a big juggling act. I am studying a degree full time, doing a work placement as a volunteer reserve assistant, acting as a volunteer reserve warden, the Poldens landscape champion for Butterfly Conservation and I work part time to pay the bills whilst running a home as a single parent. It is all about time management, being organised and trying not to let the pressure get to you! But one day my hard work will be rewarded and it will all have been worth it. I would like to work in conservation as a reserves assistant, warden or a conservation officer. I love being outside working on the reserves, either doing practical management or surveying work.

Top tips
1) Be organised and manage your time well
2) Try not to let the pressure get to you!