BA (hons) in Combined Studies
MA in Literature Culture and Society.
In 1999, as a mature student, I embarked on an access course in the Humanities at what is now Coleg Morgannwg, and in September 2000 began a Combined Studies degree, with a heavy emphasis on English literature, here at the University of Glamorgan. Three years later I had achieved a first class BA degree and was delighted to be awarded a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (now the AHRC) in order to undertake the MA in Literature, Culture and Society. Despite taking a break from my PhD, I still enjoy researching the demonisation of children and the role of the salvific and malevolent mother figure in post-war American literature and its corresponding cinematic representation – albeit at a leisurely pace!
As, I suppose, an example myself of the success of widening participation policies, I am particularly interested in encouraging students from non-traditional backgrounds to enjoy and thrive on the challenge that university life presents. I know that education can, and does, broaden horizons in a positive way.
I have been involved in teaching and learning for many years, my first experience of the teaching role being on a volunteer basis, at a community based level, in basic skills classes. I have been at the university for twelve years now and have gained a broad range of valuable experience both as a student and a tutor. My initial contact with the Education Drop-in Centres, as a student helper, allowed me to develop administrative/organisational skills and first hand experience as a student has helped me guide and advise many students over the years. Designing and presenting a range of materials to both individual and groups, has, I feel, helped to improve academic performance and enrich the student experience.
I now work five days a week (during term time) as a Student Achievement Tutor in the Education Drop-in Centre/s, having previously worked there as a student helper and as a HPL from September 2002 to December 2005. My main responsibility is tutoring students (on a one-to-one basis, and in small groups in workshops) in a range of study-related areas, including planning and structuring essays, grammar related subjects and organisational and time management skills. This is a challenging and rewarding experience and it is immensely satisfying watching students’ confidence grow as they travel the road towards independent learning. At our Glyntaf centre, I often spend time at our reception desk, helping students arrange appointments and offering study- skill related on the spot advice. I feel that ensuring that there is always a friendly face in our centres encourages students to approach us for advice on a myriad of subjects ranging from where to find information about essay structure to correct modes of referencing. I also participate in writing and updating our hand-outs on English and Study Skills and share responsibility with colleagues for designing and tailoring workshops to meet, as far as is possible, the needs of a range of students from a variety of disciplines.
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