Access to HE: The next steps to University

Student Stories

Having started his degree with us at the age of 27, Paul Ford is now pursuing his lifelong career ambition of becoming a successful Educational Psychologist with a doctorate. Here is what Paul says about his experience as an Adult Learner:

“Returning to education later in life felt a bit daunting at first.  At the time ,  I believed that there was a societal stigma on mature students; I think this was because when I took  an Access course at a college I was surrounded by people who were significantly younger than me. I presumed this would be the same at university but it was not.

I am glad I didn’t let this put me off my goal, as I do not feel like a mature student at all, and neither do many of my friends, some of whom are 40+ and have kids. I easily made friends with people of all ages who had similar interests.  In short I feel like a student, nothing less.

My University experience made me more appreciative of studying and of knowledge in general. Everything I am learning in my degree will be relevant to my future career. It is my current studies that fuelled my thirst for a doctorate, which I am hoping to complete by the age of 35.

The University offers a wealth of resources, equipment and support, with something for everyone. It also provides lots of flexible work opportunities through the on-site student recruitment agency, which is exactly what I needed. Working as a Student Ambassador has helped me enhance my people skills and earn good money while doing so. It is a great experience to add to my CV and reflect on during future job interviews.  I am also hoping to become a part of the University’s STEM programme to inspire school children to get involved in the sciences.

If I could summarise my time at the University of Northampton so far in just a few words, they would be inspiring,  life-changing, career-progressing, with lots of opportunities for learning and making friends.”

Transforming lives Inspiring Change