My career in education has taken different roads but each experience has complemented and enhanced the next. I have taught music, Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and general curriculum in mainstream and special needs settings. The journey has taken me from my home in Ireland to New Zealand, Spain, England and back again.
I completed my BMus and Higher Diploma in Education at University College Cork in Ireland in the nineties and, more recently, completed my Postgraduate Certificate Special Needs in Autism at the University of Birmingham and Certificate in Psychology at Aston University. Embarking on a Master’s in education seemed like a natural progression.
I was drawn to apply to Bristol because of its reputation in fields of research and I chose to apply for the MEd Psychology of Education BPS because I felt it was a well-rounded course. The course provided a good foundation in research methods, while satisfying my curiosity in regard to my topics of interest. My educational psychology interests integrate developmental, cognitive, and sociocultural perspectives; my research at Bristol involved examining collaborative programmes for supporting social, cultural and learning processes.
The years’ experience surpassed my expectations as a mature student; the enthusiastic and supportive Graduate School of Education staff were instrumental in my academic progress and my personal growth through self-reflection. The emphasis on critical thinking also helped me to develop all aspects of my research learning. I hope ultimately to find opportunities on my career path where research has an integral role.
I felt very comfortable in my shoes as this was my second experience as a full time mature student. The students on the course represented a broad mix of cultural backgrounds and ages and this enhanced my own perspective. I enjoyed getting to know students on other MEd pathways too. As an overseas student, my stay at the University accommodation, Hodgkin House, in Clifton was a happy and homely experience. I enjoyed making new friends from around the world and enjoyed the opportunities provided for the house group to unwind.