Case study

From childhood dream to accomplished career

From the age of five, Rachel Bage knew that she wanted to become a nurse. After many years of volunteering for St John Ambulance, she took the plunge. Now her passion and drive for mental health has made her push her career even further.

Building confidence

During the time Rachel studied with us, it proved to be some of the busiest years of her life. She explains: “The last two and a half years have been extremely challenging as I have managed buying my first home, getting married, completing the NHS Graduate Management Scheme, completing a postgraduate diploma and my MSc in Integrative Health and Social Care.”

However, Rachel embraced the challenge. She says: “I feel so much more confident in managing a workload and working to a deadline. I feel my academic skills have grown substantially. I have spent many hours working late at night on a train, at Kings Cross station and in hotels. I’ve adapted to working in lots of different environments.

“In the end, I even accelerated my course to finish my two last modules in one semester.”

The Derby difference

Rachel had previously studied with a different online education provider but found that the course wasn’t as flexible as she needed it to be. So, when she decided to study again, she knew that picking the right online institution was crucial.

She says: “I was looking online for a flexible MSc Integrative Health and Social Care degree and Derby really appealed to me. The limited number of mandatory modules and significant number of optional modules was a highlight. It meant that I have qualified with a mixed and varied masters degree.”

Rachel chose our course due to its flexibility and accessibility, which meant she could pick it up around work commitments. She says: “I really enjoyed studying with Derby. I studied some interesting modules, which gave me lots of opportunities. I also enjoyed studying in such a multicultural environment with students from across the globe.

“I have had some fantastic lectures who have offered a really good experience. I like that I could study at my own pace, but also know that the lecturer is there when I need them.”

From student to teacher

While undertaking her course, Rachel did a lot of wider reading on the mental health of children and was inspired. She conducted primary research into the wellbeing of children, interviewing students and teachers. She says: “I had a few areas of interest, for example children’s home backgrounds and the increasing challenge of primary school curriculum.”

This research inspired Rachel to become a school governor at a local primary school, where she takes on a strategic/managerial role. Since completing her course Rachel is also now working in education as a lecturer and is hoping to start her Postgraduate Certificate in Education to help her develop her career further.

She says: “I believe this course has supported my career development both into academia and into my role as governor within a school.”

Teacher with children undertaking a colouring activity

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