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Case Study

Sylwia Szymczyk

BA (Hons) Childhood Studies


Before coming to the University of Sunderland, Sylwia worked in the casino industry and decided she wanted to make a positive difference in children's lives, enrolling on the BA (Hons) Childhood Studies course.

I chose to study at the University of Sunderland because I wanted to further my career and Sunderland offered the course that I was interested in. I wanted to gain the knowledge and qualifications that would allow me to fulfil my aspirations of becoming a professional whose work could make a positive difference in children’s lives. Before starting university, I was living in London and working in the casino industry, so coming here has really given me the chance to open many doors in the future.

One of the best aspects of the Childhood Studies course is the variation in the different modules. The first year gives you the wide variety and a broad understanding of the world that children live in. By the time you reach your second year, you will have developed personal interests that you want to pursue academically. This becomes possible as you are able to select specific module strands in the area you are most interested in, which I thought was a great part of the course.

I would definitely recommend the University of Sunderland to other students who look to better themselves at Higher or Further Education. The advice that I could offer to future students would be to take all the available support from lecturers if you feel that you need it. They are really there for you and want you to do well in your studies.

My future aims involve working with vulnerable and disadvantaged children who require support to be able to lead a happy life and reach their full potential. My main areas of interest are around the mental health of children and this is the route that I am looking forward to undertaking.

In my final year, I fell pregnant. When I told my programme leader, he assured me that if I needed any support, such as extra time to complete my work or additional time off, they would offer their help and be flexible in regards to my circumstances. This was very reassuring, especially taking into consideration that it was my final year. It was not just when I was pregnant that I experienced this support and I found the lecturers were very supportive throughout my whole time at the University and were always willing to offer additional help if needed."

Published 26 March 2018

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