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Chris Hodgson

Social Work

Social-Work-BSc_Student_Chris-HodgsonGiving up my previous career and going to university at the age of 40 has been one of the best decisions of my life. With all the usual living costs, I had wondered whether I would be able to manage financially. A small bursary and acceptance for a student loan swayed me into taking the plunge.

I particularly enjoy the excellent social aspects of attending university and meeting dozens of new people who often have a similar tale to tell. Those people are also a source of encouragement and support when tackling assignments and doing research.

As I am studying Social Work, I consider being a mature student a real advantage and my life experiences are particularly useful. My first year at Northumbria, I feel, has been a case of laying the groundwork for the rest of the course. The placements have been especially interesting and rewarding.

Having been out of education for a long time, I am glad I prepared for this course by studying at evening classes. It enabled me to learn again how to study and how to manage my time well. I also appreciated the support offered to mature students by the University, who organised a day aimed at giving ‘tips’ to those of us who had not attended school for quite some time. In addition, the University runs a Student Shadowing Scheme, in which I have since acted as a ‘mentor’. This allows a potential student to ‘shadow’ a current student throughout their university day, attending lectures and seminars, and finding out about the course and university life from the students themselves.

Since becoming a student I have been able to earn some money by acting as a student rep at Open Days, and also by agreeing to take part in a photo shoot for a University publication. Well, everyone makes mistakes, even at university!


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