Patrick Aherne

BA (Hons) Working with Young People and Communities (Youth Work or Community Development)

Patrick Aherne

Why did you choose your course at Derby?

I chose Derby as upon looking at the National Student Survey saw that the Working with Young People and Communities scored very highly. I also asked people I knew and they spoke highly of the course. In addition, having a young child, I needed to be close to home and the University of Derby fitted the bill. It also offered a further qualification along with the degree; the nationally recognised Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) qualification.

What are the best qualities of the course?

The best quality of the course is the access to lecturers; this helps when you have questions, or need help with best reading. The ‌teaching is inventive, as it engages and aids learning that is enjoyable. Being based in Britannia Mill is perfect; the campus is friendly and feels relaxed.

What is the teaching you receive like?

The teaching is brilliant. Each lecturer has a different style, and they use varied mediums – it’s not all via PowerPoint presentations. The lecturers encourage discussion and debate that increase learning. All of the lecturing staff have worked in the sector, so bring practical experience into teaching, and show how theory underpins practice.

Are there any defining moments that stand out for you on your course?

I think our first assignment stands out so far, in that all of us were concerned about passing and it was, the first time many of us had written at a higher education level. However, the lecturers couldn’t have been more helpful; they answered questions and gave extra workshops. This helped all students and gave us a good base to carry on. On a personal note, being elected as Student Union officer for Britannia Mill was a wonderful moment.

How has the course helped your personal development?

It has helped me to deal with problems in a more logical way. I have increased my experience and it has given me more options to further my career. It has developed my skills and lead me into working in a different way. It has allowed me to increase my connections, which, in turn, has helped me in my voluntary work.

What do you think to the University as a whole?

I think the University is a friendly place that works hard on being inclusive. Although it’s a large institution, it doesn’t feel that way. Each site has an individual identity, but still feels part of the University. The University has interesting guest lectures, and it’s clear that facilities are invested in for its students.

What do you think of the city as a whole?

Derby, although a city, feels like a small town. It’s friendly and has some excellent shopping. It has a good nightlife and features a world renowned street festival, Derby Festé each September. One great feature of Derby is that it’s surrounded by parks, and is just a short distance from the Peak District. Derby has excellent sports facilities and is home to Derby Arena, a multi–use arena and word-class velodrome.