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Case Study

Richard Michael

Liverpool, UK

PGCE Education (Independent Distance Learning)


Richard Michael had been teaching at a primary school in Hong Kong for over two years before deciding to apply to apply for a PGCE to develop further as a teacher. Richard decided to choose the University of Sunderland based on positive feedback from people he knew who’d undertaken the course, particularly based on their praise for the high levels of support and guidance offered by tutors.

I chose the University of Sunderland based on strong recommendations from peers who’d previously completed the course, I was particularly swayed by their praise for the high levels of support and guidance provided by course tutors. This was an important factor for me, as I knew balancing a course with full-time work would be challenging.

The reflective nature of the course has meant that I’ve been able to refine teaching strategies across all modules – observing improved learning outcomes for my students as a result. The support from my Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) has been excellent too, I’m in regular communication with them and I’ve received plenty of encouragement and useful advice along the way.

I’d recommend the University of Sunderland to others based on the support I received during my studies and the course content. The University’s flexible approach to assignments during the Covid-19 pandemic has also been greatly appreciated. The detailed feedback given on assignments highlighted areas for me to work on that I’d previously not considered – this helped to contribute further to a sense of continuing professional development.

My piece of advice to prospective students is be prepared to work hard, but also never shy away from seeking the support and guidance you need. Balancing my regular work duties and this course has been demanding but the pacing of the course and the support I’ve received has kept me from ever feeling overwhelmed. At this stage, I’m feeling more equipped to support my school’s English department in developing the curriculum and I feel that my students have benefitted greatly from the refined practices that I’ve been able to implement.

Gaining this qualification will give me options to progress with my teaching career and seek out other opportunities in the future."

Published 19 July 2021

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