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Case Study

Lesley McPartlin

Hartlepool, UK

BSc (Hons) Health, Wellbeing and Care in Society

PGCE Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET)

Lesley McPartlin was working in a senior staff role in a care home, and although she loved her job, knew that it wasn’t the career for her. She chose to study BSc (Hons) Health, Wellbeing and Care in Society at the University of Sunderland after a tour, having found the atmosphere warm and friendly. She is now a Health and Social Care teacher, having completed the PGCE PCET after her undergraduate degree.

Before university, I was working in a care home as a senior staff member. Although I loved my job role and enjoyed helping others, I felt I was following a path that was not meant for the real me. I strongly believe in social mobility and that people should always strive to reach their full potential. I chose to study the BSc (Hons) Health, Wellbeing and Care in Society course at the University of Sunderland after I had a tour; it had a warm and friendly atmosphere and the tutors seemed kind and approachable.

I loved the content of the course; it was about real people and real life. The lecturers ensured the delivery of each module was fresh and exciting with new and up-to-date topics throughout. I really enjoyed getting to put my own ideas and research together for my dissertation at the end of the course.

After finishing my undergraduate degree, I went on to complete the PGCE PCET course, also at Sunderland. I enjoyed the Health, Wellbeing and Care in Society course so much, and with my background and specialist knowledge in healthcare I decided I wanted to teach it. I went for my first interview at Durham Sixth Form Centre and with the help, support and encouragement from my tutors at Sunderland, I got the job. I'm now a Health and Social Care teacher and have just completed my first year alongside QTLS.

To any prospective students looking to start a university degree, I would say no matter what your circumstances are, don’t assume it’s impossible. At the start of my degree I already had one child, and then had another during the degree (who was extremely ill and in and out of hospital for a long time). My partner also had a hip replacement and I was looking after him during my exams and dissertation. I still managed to graduate with a 2:1, so imagine what you could do with less obstacles? To get into university, I had to complete an Access course in the evening alongside work. Some people think they're too old or don’t have the best grades (this was me!) but you should always look into your options as there is always a way.

The whole experience at Sunderland was amazing from start to finish. I met so many wonderful people and still keep in touch with them today as you really do make friends for life. The lecturers were outstanding and made the experience one to remember. I was so inspired by them that they made me want to teach Health and Social Care myself.”

Published 1 September 2020

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