"I chose to study at the University of Central Lancashire as it is the only university in the country which offered an undergraduate degree in BSc (Hons) Sexual Health Studies. Additionally, the university location is close to home which meant I could easily commute to and from Preston.
Having now secured a full-time role as a Sex and Relationships Wellbeing Practitioner with St Helens Council, I hope to continue to work there and study part-time for my master's degree in Sexual Health at UCLan.
By undertaking my degree, it has not only given me the knowledge and skills to work in the field of sexual health, but it has also opened my eye to other factors. Sexual Health Studies is not just infections, sex and pregnancy, but a vast and varied variety of subjects from human trafficking to female genital mutilation and commissioning to health promotion. The degree has holistically benefitted me in all aspects of my life, from building confidence in my own abilities and helping me to deliver relationships and sex education in my new role.
My greatest achievement at UCLan has been attaining a first-class grade on each module throughout the course. Having not considered myself a particularly academic person prior to coming to university, I am now a firm believer in success due to passion. I am very passionate about sexual health and I think that has been reflected through my grades.
Challenges I overcame during the course of my degree were the doubts in my own abilities. Having achieved average grades at GCSE and A Level, I wasn’t expecting to excel at university. This has given me a huge boost in confidence. The Sexual Health Studies team at UCLan are wonderful in supporting and mentoring students to ‘gentle nudge’ them to work to the best of their abilities. All members of the team are accessible via appointments in person or via phone/email. This includes the course leader Donna Welch, who in particular makes time to listen to any concerns a student may have. Without the support of the team, the challenges of university would be even harder therefore I am very grateful to have them!
The best piece of advice I can give to future applicants is – give it your all and let your passion show. If you’re not passionate about sexual health, then this is not the course for you. The degree allows you to explore all avenues of sexual health, of which you may find another branch to it which you would like – for me that is education – but let the passion for your subject show in your work. Also, attend your lectures, you are paying for this time to learn, don’t waste it!
Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCLan and will be very sad to leave – perhaps this is why I intend to stay on and study a master's degree. Sexual Health Studies is a brilliant course, taught by a fantastic team! I could not recommend the degree more."
05 April 2018