Mature student, Helen Gowling, set her sights on a degree level qualification despite not obtaining any A Levels

Helen wanted to be a forensic psychologist and chose to study at the University of Central Lancashire because of the school of Psychology’s reputation and body of research.

Following advice from University staff, she completed an Introduction to Higher Education course which enabled her to enrol for an undergraduate degree. As a single parent, Helen also had to move home with her three young children to be close to the University.

Whilst in the first year of her degree, Helen found that she enjoyed more of the biological side of psychology and felt more suited to neuropsychology so she changed her course. She received support and advice from tutors throughout her studies and made friends with other students in similar situations.

After graduation, Helen increased her hours in her job working with and supporting adults with learning disabilities. She then joined the NHS and worked as an Assistant Practitioner in a community stroke rehabilitation team. In 2017, Helen commenced a doctorate qualification in Clinical Psychology through Lancaster University and has now successfully completed it. Whilst completing her doctoral degree, Helen has been working as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist for Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust.

Looking back on her time at UCLan, Helen said:

"My experience whilst there and my degree subject have definitely guided my life choices since graduating. I am a completely different person now than I was before I started with a much clearer career path in mind."