Jennifer Stafford-Curtis, Creative Expressive Therapies 2012

Since graduating with a BA (Hons) Creative Expressive Therapies (Art pathway) in 2012 I relocated to Sheffield, where I work as a freelance climbing instructor and project worker. I work for several different companies in Sheffield, including the some of the largest and longest running climbing centres.

One of the companies I freelance for is Eclipse Innovative Project Design which specialises in experiential learning through climbing sessions, team-build activities and events. The programs they offer are tailored to enrich participants with transferable life skills, such as enhanced communication skills, problem solving, teamwork, self-motivation and reflective practice.

What were the main reasons you took that course?

I took the course as it's a good foundation to progress on to an Art Psychotherapy Masters. I found that the course did a lot more than just prepare me for further education, it developed me as an individual and encouraged me to be more independent in my life as well as my learning. So I'm more employable and prepared for any challenges in life I decided to take on.

Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby?

It was a unique course not run anywhere else in the country. When I went to an open day it just felt like the right place to be, with helpful and knowledgeable staff and students in a welcoming atmosphere.

How would you sum up the experience of studying this course at the University of Derby?

It’s hard to put into just a few words my experience of studying at Derby. Rather than a life changing experience, I would rather say that it was a life “evolving” experience helping me find out who I am and giving me the opportunity to develop and grow.

How did you find the lecturers and the support they gave you?

I feel very fortunate for the support that the University gave me as a dyslexic student and was impressed with how much support was available for all students. I found my lecturers helpful and approachable and felt lucky to be able to share their collective wealth of knowledge and experience.

How do you feel the University has helped you in your career so far? 

The Career Development Centre helped signpost me to the right places to become self-employed.

What are your future plans?

To one day open a centre that offers a combined service of Adventure and Art Therapy. I feel the experiences we can gain from adventure activities and from creative expression can be beneficial for many different people, but I would particularly like to work with adults who have suffered domestic violence or abuse and adolescence from broken or unstable home environments.

What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?

You have already made a good investment in your future by choosing to study Creative Expressive Therapies at Derby. The key to a good education is to remember that you are in charge of your future and how you will develop as an individual; I can fully recommend Derby as an encouraging, challenging and nurturing place to educate and develop yourself