Case study

Sarah’s passion for her children led to a new career

Sarah Short was living and teaching abroad, a mother of two young children, when her husband passed away. Returning to the UK, her passion for her children and her courage and strength have seen her steer her career in a new direction.

Time to reassess

Sarah’s children were aged four and two when she returned to the UK to be with her family. She took three years out of work to look after her children and then began to consider her own future.

She explains: “I had started teaching in 2004 when I graduated with an MA in Literature. I only spent two years teaching in the UK and then went on to teach in the UAE, Egypt, Indonesia and China.

"I realised that most of my work teaching was spent dealing not just with children in the classroom but with behaviours outside as well. This led me to consider becoming an educational psychologist.”

She was then pushed further towards Pscyhology when her elder son was diagnosed with autism and dyslexia.

Making the change

As the idea of a new career grew, Sarah wanted to learn more about Psychology. She says: “I believe that, once you are determined to succeed not only in life but personally as well, you find the courage and strength to continue.”

But she was a single mother of two young boys aged seven and nine. She says: “They were still at a delicate age where they needed full-time attention as well as nurture. I wasn't too sure about going back to full-time study or devoting the next few years to a career I wasn't absolutely sure of yet.”

Sarah realised that part-time online study was a good option for her. “This was the perfect opportunity to balance my personal and professional life, without compromising one or the other,” she says.

Sarah Short

I am very passionate about my children and my work, and making life better not just for myself but for them as well is an important driving factor.

Sarah Short
Psychology University Certificate

Why choose Derby?

Sarah did her research before choosing our online Psychology University Certificate. She explains: “I had noticed that the University received the most accreditation for their online courses and the University had really good reviews on Google, as well as great ratings from other students that I found on several chat-based forums.”

And, once she started the course, she found her workload was the perfect amount to balance personal life and professional commitments. She says: “The course doesn't put time constraints that taught courses would have. The ability to be flexible with study time and material was a big aid, as well as the commitment of staff and support from other online students.

“It made juggling personal and professional life quite simple and relaxing! It all boils down to time-management and keeping everything in focus.

“I would have to say the most beneficial experience that I have taken away with me is the enormous support from staff, who are always available to help regardless of how trivial or important the query was.”

The future in focus

During Sarah’s studies, she realised that she did, indeed, want to pursue a career in Psychology. It’s a career she is now dedicated to.

And she says: “This course has helped my career in many ways. Firstly, it gave me the background I needed to figure out if this was the correct career path for me and, secondly, it prepared me to further my studies in Psychology.

“I started my MSc this September, full-time, so that hopefully, once completed, I will carry on to doctorate level. Once fully qualified with my doctorate, I would like to practise counselling, as that is where I feel I would be useful, not only to my family and friends. I guess you could say it is my way of giving back to society.”