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Case Study

Sarah Ellis

Sunderland, UK

MSc Inequality and Society


Sarah Ellis graduated from the University of Sunderland two decades ago and is back studying MSc Inequality and Society. She plans to progress onto a PhD and hopes to teach at Sunderland one day.

I actually graduated from my undergraduate degree at the University of Sunderland 22 years ago and have very happy memories of that time. My decision to come back and study MSc Inequality and Society was very timely – I was ten years out of work after a premature end to my military and nursing career, so completed a management diploma and embarked on independent study of philosophy, anthropology and sociology to back up my undergraduate and nursing qualifications. I chose Sunderland because I remembered a friendly and fun atmosphere – which certainly still exists!

The tutors are so approachable and the course content is amazing and fascinating. It feels relevant and very much embedded in current socio-political discourse, helping me to form a bridge between academic theory and diversity practice. I hope to use the knowledge I gain to affect real-world change in my professional area. I plan to progress onto a PhD after I graduate and would like to teach at Sunderland one day.

For those of us who live daily with the consequence of social and professional exclusion, the personal and professional motivations are often linked. I am no exception to this. Having been an undergraduate at Sunderland and returning two decades later, it feels like coming home. The University and this course has given me hope, a direction and purpose. Crucially it has provided me with the means to achieve my goals.

For the last ten years I’ve held onto a three word phrase: “Believe, Persevere, Achieve”. For me, the University of Sunderland of Sunderland embodies that ethos.”

Published 17 March 2020

Find out more about Sarah through her blog, 'Optimisticality'

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