BA Combined Honours in English and Sociology (1973)
As I trained as an English teacher and initially taught English and Drama, the Sociology part of my degree formed less of a part of my initial working role but it widened my horizons to different ways of seeing and thinking."
Who are you currently working for and what is your job title?
I am Managing Director of my own limited company as a sole trader. I trained as a teacher and now run training courses for teachers specialising in Primary Literacy.
Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?
Birmingham was a sensible distance from my parents' home in Liverpool. Also, Birmingham was one of the very few Universities which offered a combined English and Sociology course.
What are the main benefits of studying Sociology at Birmingham?
Birmingham offers excellent opportunities for studying widely within the range of subjects on offer under the umbrella of Sociology. I took courses in Anthropology and Psychology as well as Sociological Theories. Furthermore, with the Centre for Cultural Studies run by the brilliant Stuart Hall on campus, we had the opportunity of being at the cutting edge of cultural studies.
How does the study of sociology continue to impact on your life / experiences?
It certainly helped with my PCGE course and my subsequent MA which, although it was in Children's Literature, enabled me to draw on the broad scope of study I had followed while at Birmingham.
What advice would you give to current students studying sociology.
Choose the modules that appeal; if your heart is in it, you will be successful and you can turn any job opportunities to your advantage.
What are your fondest memories of the University?
Birmingham has a great campus which offer lots of activities and is also close to the city centre. I spent two years at University House which I thoroughly enjoyed. Travelling on the Pater Noster lifts in the Muirhead Tower was pretty memorable too!
How did you grow as a person by coming to University?
I had come from a year with the VSO which followed 10 years at a small boarding school in North Wales so the University and its diversity was a real eye-opener to me!
What did you think of the learning experience within the University?
As I trained as an English teacher and initially taught English and Drama, the Sociology part of my degree formed less of a part of my initial working role but it widened my horizons to different ways of seeing and thinking.
How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?
Since graduating from Birmingham, I have gone on to attain a PGCE from Nottingham University; I have taught; I attained an MA from Reading; I was a Senior Lecturer Oxford Brookes University; I am a freelance lecturer and writer for educational publishers.
What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
I have become an expert in my field and am well-respected by colleagues.