Kelly’s back in the classroom

She reflects on her time at UCEN Manchester after graduating with first-class honours.

Kelly McCarthy spent ten years working in nurseries and primary schools before deciding to further her career and return to education with UCEN Manchester, first studying for a foundation degree in Childhood and Youth Studies, followed by a top-up degree in the same subject. Kelly graduated last year with a first-class honours degree. 

We spoke to Kelly about how her time at UCEN Manchester has helped shape her career path and her proudest achievement so far.

What attracted you to UCEN Manchester?

“I started my degree after working in primary schools and nurseries for over ten years, as I felt I was ready to progress and further my career. I attended the UCEN Manchester open day at Openshaw and instantly liked the campus and the facilities it had to offer. I liked that the degree course had their own building and separate facilities, such as the library and café. The tutors provided me with lots of information and gave me an insight to what I could be studying. The context fit with my career progression. The smaller class sizes were appealing, as was the tutor supervision I would receive.”

What are your career goals?

“My career goals are to continue working within the childcare sector as a tutor to both adults and 16-18 year olds. I would like to gain as much experience as I can, so I can provide an enriching learning environment for my future students and mirror that positive experience I have had from my tutors throughout my academic journey. I would also like to do my Masters, so I am enabling myself to teach at a higher level in universities up to degree level.”

How have your tutors prepared you for your career?

“I’ve worked with a range of different tutors from level 3 up to level 7 and felt I’ve always had positive relationships with them. During tutorials, I was always able to speak about my future goals and ask for advice on how to achieve these. My academic journey has prepared me to be a successful professional within in my field and has given me the skills required to achieve my full potential. From being a student teacher, working alongside the tutors, I have learnt so many different strategies and teaching styles that will positively influence my career.”

What are you most proud of from your time studying so far?

“I am most proud of what I achieved during my last year at UCEN Manchester when studying for my degree. I had support and advice to reach my full potential, which led me to achieving a first-class honours degree. I worked very hard independently when studying for my dissertation, so I was thrilled to achieve 85% as my final grade for that piece of work. I also received an academic achievement award at my graduation for my achievements during the final year of my degree.”

Find out more about a degree in Childhood and Youth Studies or apply through clearing today.