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Cheryl Dunn

Midwifery Studies

Where are you from?

Northumberland

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

Northumbria University was the only choice for me. I had been in contact with Northumbria University for nine years prior to beginning my course as I lived overseas. I felt Northumbria had excellent facilities and I read only positive testimonials regarding teaching, learning and job prospects when researching the midwifery course; this was most certainly an environment in which I wanted to study. Also, following my move back to the UK with my family, it was my local university and one I very much wanted to proudly say I was a part of.

What do you think of Newcastle and our region and what are your favourite things to do?

You always feel at home in Newcastle. Everyone you meet is welcoming and this added to the experience of my university days after living away from the region for almost a decade. Newcastle's nightlife is second to none and if that is not for you, then Newcastle offers some of the best culture In the country, from musical concerts at venues ranging from the City Hall, Metroradio Arena to the fantastic iconic Sage building. Also, art galleries feature heavily in Newastle and The Baltic is a must see!

What has surprised you most about living in Newcastle and this region? What has impressed you most?

Newcastle's culture and iconic landmarks are most certainly the most impressive aspect of living in the region, and visiting places such as The Sage, The Baltic, The Angel of the North, the music venues, art galleries and football ground is a must for any visiting family members! The whole region offers fantastic entertainment and culture where you can explore the history and foods of the region and really become part of the north east, and as some of my friends believe you become an 'adopted Geordie'.

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming? Was it easy to fit in?

Northumbria university becomes part of your family; from the other new students you meet through to the lecturers, everyone has such a warm welcome and are very supportive and approachable. Being a mature student I had to ensure the University was right for my family as well as myself and I can honestly say Northumbria excelled; they provided family days at Freshers week so we did not feel left out of celebrations and at Christmas, Easter and summer had further family days and events my children could attend and feel part of the Northumbria family.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

Although University life has a focus on social aspects, lets not forget about the academic aspect of university life! For me, I thoroughly enjoyed the teaching and learning at Northumbria. I found my lecturers very approachable and supportive, not only with academic issues but also on a personal basis and for me this is what made my time at Northumbria special. I enjoyed the range of assessments which included practical examinations, dialogues, written exams and assignments as well as on going assessment during placements. Also, the facilities which are offered are fantastic; the university has a very modern clinical skills centre where students become familiar with skills sets before commencing placement and the libraries offer floors upon floors of resources, IT facilities, and study areas, everything you could possibly need to ensure you are well prepared and supported throughout your studies.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

The lecturers at the University are second to none. They understand how difficult life can be as a mature student and trying to look after a family as well as studying and working full time as part of the degree during placement. They are approachable, supportive and have an excellent approach in delivering teaching and learning in a way it can be understood. Also, fellow students really do become part of your family, especially with midwifery as the yearly intake is very small compared with other courses and so you form an alliance with each other which allows you to go through the emotions of the course together.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

Once again the lecturers, they know their stuff! Their knowledge is phenomenal and they are such an inspiration. I do remember thinking in my first year of study 'I'll never remember all of that', however now as a newly qualified midwife I can say 'yes I remembered it', and it's because of the range of teaching styles the lecturers employ which aids learning of all students regardless of their learning style.

What is your favourite place on campus?

I studied on Coach Lane campus and for me it was the library were I spent a huge chunk of time, as well as the student union when I needed a 30 minute break and needed to refuel on Costa coffee and very reasonably priced food!

What is the best thing about your course?

Learning the true art of midwifery and being present during one of life's miracles. I thoroughly enjoyed the academic side to my course as well as my placements and each day felt humbled to be part of such a personal time in a families life.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date?

You need to work extremely hard to get where you want to be, the university will provide the teaching and facilities but it's your own determination and motivation which will decide upon how you will succeed. I began my course with my goal being set extremely high in wanting a First class honours with many people informing me they are very hard to achieve in midwifery. I continued to study and work as hard as I could throughout my three year course and at times thought even passing the course would be a miracle however, through my own determination, motivation and support from my family as well as university I achieved my goal and was awarded a First class honours in midwifery in march 2014. So, always follow your dreams, be prepared to stumble and sometimes fall but if it's truly what you want, you'll get there and achieve your goal.

What do you want to do in the future? What skills have you learned/improved that you think will be of most use in your future career?

Becoming a registered midwife was ultimately what I wanted to achieve and work as a midwife, supporting women through one of the most difficult and life changing events of their lives. Looking back on the past three years, it is quite unbelievable how much I have learnt academically as well as the skills I have learnt which are required for my chosen career; theory and skills which will aid my transition to newly qualified and beyond as I engage in life long learning within my career.

Have you taken up any opportunities to travel with your current course/undertake field trips? If so, please tell us about them.

I have been involved in a range of conferences which have taken part in the North East, and continue to be involved in these.

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

Be prepared to study hard for what you want to achieve; the university will provide you with everything you require to be successful however, it's your own determination and motivation which will determine your success and the university will support you as much as possible. Although the main aspect of university life is academic study, it is important to have some down time and Northumbria's student union offers a fantastic social hub where you can do just that!

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria University, Newcastle (e.g. confidence)?

Since studying at Northumbria it has allowed me to become a knowledgable, evidence-based, confident, autonomous practitioner. The theoretical research skills as well as practical skills has allowed me to enter my career informed and prepared for life long learning within midwifery.

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Fantastic, supportive, inspirational.

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?

Yes, most definitely!


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