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Case Study

Emma Dougherty


MA Education

Emma Dougherty is currently studying her third degree at University of Sunderland. She credits the University and We Care Team for the financial and pastoral support she's received which has enabled her to study her BA, PGCE and masters.

I chose to study at the University of Sunderland because I've set up home here. I grew up in Sunderland Local Authority care and believe in supporting your local authority, which meant Sunderland was the place I wanted to study, even at the very start of my higher education journey. I am now studying my third degree here.

I always planned to go far with my educational success. I never wanted to be part of the statistics of growing up in foster care and was determined to do well for myself and to break the domino effect that was running through my family.

The financial aspect of support that I've received from the We Care Team has been absolutely phenomenal and had this support not been available, I wouldn't have been able to complete my PGCE or gone onto my masters without it! My education would have been halted at my undergraduate degree. I feel extremely grateful for this support. I've also recieved further financial support during lockdown and been offered support through virtual cuppas, group chats and Teams video calls.

I would absolutely recommend the University of Sunderland. The support they offer is fantastic and when you feel overwhelmed or are struggling in any way, they are always there for you and want you to be the best that you can! I would like to give special mention to all of the staff at Sunderland, particularly during the circumstances we currently find ourselves in due to Covid-19. It is a completely new way of life for everyone and the staff have adapted so quickly and made it as easy as they can for us students from the outset. None of this is ideal, however, they are making it work!

My advice to prospective students would be don't hesitate to ask for help or support, you aren't alone, and to use every resource and support available. Take advantage of everything you are offered as it's there for a reason and to make your student life easier and successful!

After completing my masters, I plan to complete my NQT year before moving onto working in a PRU in the hope of taking on a role of Designated Safeguarding Lead or Special Educational Needs Coordinator. Years down the line I would also like to turn my hand to lecturing, hopefully for the University of Sunderland.

My time at the University of Sunderland has been a complete adrenaline roller coaster and life-changing in the most positive way imaginable."

Published 27 October 2020

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