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Alumni

Studying at UCLan has led to wide and varied careers across the globe, and this is something we are very proud of. We want to share your successes, from whatever field that may be.

Terence Jagger

TERENCE JAGGER

BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care, 2016

Following a twenty-year career working for the NHS, UCLan graduate, Terence Jagger, is now working at the very University he credits for his own academic progression.

Terence spent ten years working as a Senior Cardiac Physiologist for the NHS prior to the tragedy of losing both of his parents to cancer at a young age. Due to this experience, Terence felt that he had the knowledge and empathy to look after cancer patients and so became inspired to help others during such difficult times.

Terence started work as a Trainee Assistant Practitioner in the Outpatient Oncology Department at Royal Preston Hospital, and as part of his new position was offered the chance to study a Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care for Assistant Practitioners at the University of Central Lancashire. Terence completed his course and went on to study the BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care Top-Up at UCLan’s Burnley Campus, which he was successfully awarded in 2016.

Speaking about his graduation ceremony, Terence said: “The graduation ceremony was something I will never forget. I felt very proud of my achievement.”

Following the successful completion of his course, Terence became a fully qualified Assistant Practitioner in the Oncology Outpatient Department at the Rosemere Cancer Centre, which is based at the Royal Preston Hospital.

His role here included assisting with patient care; from being a patient chaperone to maintenance of central lines, taking bloods, electrocardiograms and being there as someone for patients to talk to.

Talking about his role at the Rosemere Cancer Centre, Terence said: “Many of my patients were lonely and came to the unit on their own, feeling frightened and vulnerable. I tried to provide support and care to the patients, listening to their concerns and providing comfort during their cancer journey, which I felt honoured to be a part of. For me, this wasn’t a job; it was a privilege.’

In 2017 Terence decided to continue with his academic journey and commenced an MSc in Sexual Health Studies at UCLan. In 2018 he was successful in gaining a permanent teaching role at the University and now works as a Work Based Education Tutor in UCLan’s School of Health and Midwifery, where he teaches and supports students on the Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care and the Higher Degree Apprenticeship for Assistant Practitioners.

When asked about his time at UCLan, Terence said: “The University has a very warm, friendly and family feel to it. There is just something that 'opens the doors' and greets you with an enormous sense of welcome. I have met, and still meet, some amazing lecturers who always spare the time to listen to the students. UCLan is a great place to study whether you are straight from college or, like me, in your late 40's!”

Terence continued: “It is such a privilege to be at UCLan as a member of staff and to support the programme I truly believe in. As a lifelong Prestonian, I feel proud to be giving something back.”

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Paul Wilkinson

Paul Wilkinson

BA (Hons) Community Leadership (Top-Up), 2016

As well as wanting to better himself and his career, Paul Wilkinson has a passion for helping others. Therefore, UCLan’s BA (Hons) Community Leadership course was perfect for Paul to give him the confidence and the knowledge needed to go out into communities delivering various projects.

“Having come from a deprived background with limited resources and never really taking education seriously,” says Paul. “I decided to go to university, not just to change my situation, but to change other people in similar situations.”

Paul graduated in 2016 with a First Class Honours degree after studying at UCLan’s Burnley campus. Although he has many fond memories of his time at the University, graduating stands out the most for Paul.

He said: “I take some credit for that, but the credit should be with the lecturers on the Community Leadership course who were very supportive throughout my studies and always found time to speak with me if I had any queries. They also gave me the necessary tools and techniques and empowered me, which is something I will be forever grateful for.”

Since becoming UCLan Alumni, Paul has continued his connections with the University. First, he worked as an Emancipatory Research intern before gaining full-time employment as a Research Assistant.

Speaking on taking the decision to study at UCLan, Paul said: “Don’t let fear and a lack of confidence get in your way when wanting to study in Higher Education. Believe me, I have been there and I can truly say this has changed my family’s life, and mine.

“The degree has equipped me with various skills that I use at work on a daily basis and also helps me see things from a different perspective.”

In addition to achieving a career, Paul won a Community Hero Award, Community Legend Award and The Vice-Chancellor’s Award of Excellence for his commitment to the voluntary sector.

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Sarah Ahmed

Sarah Ahmed

BA (Hons) Community Leadership (Top-Up), 2016

Before arriving at UCLan’s Burnley campus, Sarah Ahmed’s ambitions were to work as a teacher in the Middle East, but did not carry her dream forward due to a lack of confidence. However, Sarah says “After joining the Community Leadership course everything changed for me, I was helped in many ways to boost my confidence and that is why I am now a Curriculum Manager.”

Sarah works for TOP (The Oxford Partnership College) and is responsible for securing and monitoring the implementation of schemes of work by subject staff and by those on teaching practice and the management and organization of coursework, internal examinations, moderation and teacher assessment. Something Sarah says she wouldn’t have been able to achieve without studying at UCLan.

She said: “The experiences I gained through facilitating in the Global Youth Solutions conferences had a huge impact on my employment and my life in general. I honestly do not know where I would be if it wasn’t for my degree”.

“If you would like to feel like you have genuinely achieved something by giving your time to people through your knowledge, then this is definitely the course for you.   Overall, studying is a great achievement if it can give you great things in life and can also teach you a way of life.”

Sarah remembers the travelling the course enabled her to do and delivering internationally recognised conferences as her lasting memories of studying at the University, along with the lecturers at UCLan.

She said: “I was very blessed to have the teachers I did during the course of my degree. To know we have teachers out there who do not only focus on the academic side of things but are there for you to support you in the real world too is a major asset to have.”

 

Emma Gudgeon
FdSc Health and Social Care (Assistant Practitioner) Degree Apprenticeship

Emma Gudgeon

I began working for East Lancashire Health Trust, initially as a Healthcare Assistant in the Pain Management Team, then moved to the Rakehead neuro-rehab team.  The opportunity arose for my role to become that of a Trainee Assistant Practitioner.  I wanted to combine work with study to underpin my practical role with knowledge to help me understand how to help my patients in a more holistic way. 

On this course, I have learnt the importance of communication throughout the whole of a patient’s journey with the NHS to ensure their optimum physical and mental-wellbeing from their first contact with us to their last.  I am studying anatomy and physiology and writing an essay on a case study related to my own area of work.  There is a huge mix of people on my course who are training to be Assistant Practitioners in various areas of the hospital.  I find it interesting to hear the way they view things shaped by their area of work and compare with my views.  This had definitely made me think more broadly when treating patients and enabled me to provide answers to more generalised medical questions that I wasn’t able to do previously.

My work-based learning support tutor visits me at my work place every month and I also see him each week at the University.  He is always at the end of the phone to answer any questions I may have about deadlines and to go through my work, pointing out the good parts as well as areas that I could improve.  The tutors are available at the beginning and at the end of the day when I attend University to answer any questions and check our essays.  They are contactable by e-mail the rest of the week.  I am also aware that if needed, there is support available for mental wellbeing and help with finances.

At the end of the course I will be an Assistant Practitioner, able to carry out a wide range of interventions with patients who have suffered brain injuries in the areas of speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.  I also hope to have the opportunity to do an extra year’s study in order to obtain the full honours degree.

UCLan Burnley campus is small, friendly and ideal for me as I live locally.  This enables me to successfully juggle work with study and family life. 

 

Fiona Parkinson
BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care (Top-Up)

Fiona Parkinson

I was a support worker in public services when I did my first foundation degree at UCLan.  I then had the opportunity to study for a Foundation Degree in Assistant Practitioner at UCLan through my job, and am now employed with the same company as an Assistant Practitioner.

Having previously studied at UCLan, I knew the staff were supportive and the facilities were very good. So far, I have learnt about safeguarding and management and have been able to apply what I have learnt into practice. It was interesting to also learn about human trafficking in safeguarding.

The staff are fantastic - they support you through every aspect of the course. 

I am hoping to leave healthcare and move into education, hopefully teaching Health and Social Care.

UCLan Burnley is a nice campus, and we have a very good group of students.  The staff are supportive, and the campus is close to shops and places to eat.

 

Fatema Khanom Ali
MA Community Leadership

Fatema Khanom Ali

UCLan gave me an opportunity of a lifetime to study MA in Community Leadership. Once I complete the course, I am hoping to set up my own charity to help the local women from all paths of life with managed mental health conditions within Burnley area to access education and training to promote social interactions and reduce or prevent further social isolation among women within our community.

The support I received from UCLan lecturers, Student Support Team and Health and Wellbeing Team has been just amazing, I couldn't have come this far without their continuous support.

 

Saif Ansari
Year 4 MBBS Student

Saif Ansari

Originally from India, I feel like I have made Lancashire my home. I have always wanted to study medicine and so I applied to different universities around England, UCLan being one of them. I had given up on most options as they never got back to me with favourable responses or I didn’t fancy them. I came across UCLan on one of the student forums as a ‘new medical school catering for international students’.  I applied because I saw how passionate UCLan were about this new medicine course. Their teaching facilities looked excellent and so did the campus environment. I particularly found their student to staff ratios to be great.

The thought of leaving my family and home was scary to say the least. But soon enough, I met new people and made close friends. I gradually acclimatised to the food, local people and the rainy weather!

I have enjoyed this course from the start. I love the fact that we are on first-name basis with most of our professors and teachers. It is such a calm and genuine environment that I feel at home. Unlike many courses, you don’t get lost in the lecture theatre since we are such a small cohort of students and staff. We enjoy our campus days, especially the small group teaching sessions in which ideas spark the most interesting conversations and debates.

The university support is undeniably the best aspect of our course, be it academic or non-academic. We have academic advisors who guide us through the journey of becoming a doctor and clinical supervisors who monitor us during our clinical attachments. Our clinical skills lead gives us immense encouragement and support.  Whenever we need anything, we’ve got someone to approach for help.

I have to admit, Burnley does not have the social scene to compete with Manchester or Liverpool, but we do enjoy our time here. From going to the cinema to evenings in local restaurants, we enjoy our limited free time here. Plus, I enjoy a good sweat session at the gym; I am especially excited about my new gym membership to Burnley Leisure, provided by UCLan free of charge to all students at our campus in Burnley!

We have visited a lot of places in and around here – from the Lake District to Ingleton Waterfalls.

If I could say one thing to a student coming to study in Burnley, I’d say ‘Be Prepared’. You will feel the all-encompassing love for the facilities and staff; you will be challenged by the various courses available; you will be encouraged to reach your full potential and be embraced as part of the community!

 

Abisoye Muyideen Olaifa
Medical Sciences Foundation Entry

Before joining UCLan, I studied for my first degree, Immunology & Pharmacology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. I also worked in a research laboratory trying to establish the role of c-reactive protein on the pathogenesis of the eye condition, age-related macular degeneration.

I applied to study at UCLan because of the welcoming nature of the School of Medicine and the MBBS programme.

My course has been going very well thus far. I am impressed by the depth of knowledge and teaching method of several of my lecturers.

The lecture recording facilities used by some of my lecturers means that I am able to relax to follow and understand during lectures as I know I can always listen to the lecture content when I get back home. Furthermore, the mindfulness sessions, stress management sessions and balancing work / life sessions means I am well looked after as an all-round student. In addition, the opportunities which exist to work for the University as a student ambassador mean I can supplement my income.

Coming to study here turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. The staff are friendly and the support is more than enough.

 

Chris Smith
Executive MBA

Chris Smith

I am the Managing Director of Pendle Engineering Limited. I chose UCLan because it offers a local study option and it is one of the first adopters of the Senior Leader Master’s Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship.

So far, the course has equipped me with enhanced critical thinking skills, enabling me to make better business decisions.  The tailored support I have received from the course leader has been fantastic, nothing is too much trouble.

My ultimate aim is to deliver greater levels of quality, service and value to our customers by engaging and empowering the Pendle team into our vision and strategy.

Burnley is a fantastic place to work and live, offering a great blend of industrial heritage, fresh air, stunning countryside, and of course – Premier League Football!

 

Clare Jackson
Executive MBA

Clare Jackson

Alongside this Executive MBA Degree Apprenticeship, I work for Burnley Council as the Private Sector Housing Manager. I manage a relatively large team who deliver projects which aim to improve residents’ lives in Burnley by making transformational improvements to private housing.

I have been a manager for several years and I am motivated to move more towards leadership. I believe the MBA course will help me achieve this, by stepping outside of my own organisation and working with other senior leaders. The MBA is helping me to become more “business like”. Gaining a better understanding of businesses and management, especially within the private sector. This understanding will help me engage more private sector partners into the work that we do within the public sector.

On this course I am learning to become more reflective, to question why I do things in a certain way, to look for new challenges and to empower my team which also helps with my work load. The course is also providing me with an understanding of various theories and how these can help in leadership and management.

There is a lot of support available and I know I can talk to my course leader if I have any concerns. We have an active course representative and as a learning group we also support each other. The additional support in relation to academic writing from Wiser and the library service have been invaluable.

The facilities at Victoria Mill are of a high quality and in addition we have access to the facilities at Princess Way and Preston. Burnley has good travel connections to surrounding areas and a direct train link to Manchester. The town is on the up with new bars, restaurants, an award-winning Leisure Spa and a soon to be new mixed leisure and shopping complex.

 

Tikyiile Julian Kavaarpuo
Medical Sciences Foundation Entry

Tikyiile Julian Kavaarpuo

Tikyiile visited China on a two-week study tour organised by the UCLan Confucius Institute.  He says:

“Going to China and learning mandarin were both two things I planned to do later on in life. However, both opportunities presented themselves this year. Before I went to China I didn’t really know what to expect, all I knew was what I had seen and heard on TV. Such as how quickly their economy is growing and how bad their pollution was. 

Going to China has really opened my eyes and changed my view on Eastern Asia. The locals are so friendly and welcoming; which made my time there enjoyable. Beijing exhibits and mixes China’s rich history and culture with its modern technological advances. The variety of landscapes in the capital really shocked me. From the mountains at the Great Wall to the Skyscrapers in the business district. Both impressive in their own respects. The sights in China are like no other in the world. I would strongly encourage everyone and anyone to visit China. To see first-hand on how amazing and breath-taking a country on this planet can be.”

 

Emma King
FdSc Health and Social Care (Assistant Practitioner) Degree Apprenticeship

Before starting at UCLan I worked for the Lymphoedema service in the community and had been there for six years. I applied to study at UCLan as I felt I had come to a standstill as I could not progress any further as a Band 2 employee. Since starting my course, I had to move job roles to Bacup district nurses within a few days of being offered the place.

I was very hesitant with this as not only was I starting a course, but also had to move to a role where I did not know anyone. I feel my learning has come on leaps and bounds and I am very chuffed with myself – the marks I have got on the course and the new skills I have learnt in my new role.

I have recently been diagnosed as dyslexic and dyspraxic which I have found very challenging but I now see it as a new opportunity to succeed further. I hope to stay in my current role and become more confident as time goes on.  I would definitely recommend UCLan, even to family and friends as the support has been immense. Every lecturer I have found deliver the lectures in a way I can understand and whenever I have struggled, the have been more than willing to assist me.

 

Anita Parekh
BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care (Top-up)

“Prior to enrolling on the Health and Social Care Top Up course, I did the Foundation Certificate and then the two-year Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care.  I initially applied to study at UCLan in Preston because it is local to me, and then moved to Burnley campus as that is where the top-up is taught. 

I am learning all about leadership skills and current issues in health and healthcare systems.  For practice projects we can choose our topics and I did my research on the roles and responsibilities of young carers, and how this impacts on their academic achievements and social skills.

I am constantly learning more about myself - my strengths and weaknesses and how I work within a team.  I can take the theory from taught sessions and apply them in the workplace with confidence. 

There is a lot of support available, and there is more of a personalised service at Burnley as it is a small campus.  Lecturers are on hand to give help and advice, WISER provides support with academic issues, the librarians will assist with anything they can help with and the staff at the UCLan desk are friendly and approachable. 

I am not sure what I will be doing after this course – I may continue with studies but will wait and see how I feel upon completion. 

To anyone thinking of studying at UCLan Burnley, I would say visit the campus and look around – it is a lovely new campus with a family feel about it”.

 

Lauren Nelson-Brown
BSc (Hons ) Health and Social Care (Top-up)

“Before joining UCLan I was a full-time parent to my two children.  I aspired to do something with my life.  However, being a parent, I found it difficult not to feel guilty when leaving my children to pursue a career.

I initially applied for the Nursing degree. I was accepted and was really looking forward to joining. It then dawned on me that to study for that number of hours a week, I would have to leave my children with others, such as my parents or other family members. The thought crucified me. I therefore went back to the UCLan website and saw the Health and Social Care Top-Up course. Having lessons one day a week and studying from home the rest of the time really appealed to me. 

I am learning so much on this course, including study skills and writing assignments.  I am building my confidence in so many ways and learning a lot about myself. The independence I am gaining from the course and the tutors is enabling me to get a life outside of my house and my children. I am actually making my children proud - they often tell me this!

The level of support whenever we have any issues is excellent.  For example, when we had a bereavement in my family, all I had to do was email for a slight extension and it was granted without any problem.  We have access to resources, events and very supportive tutors. 

Upon completion of my course, I would love to go onto the master’s in Social Work to become a social worker, or persue a career in Occupational Therapy.   I didn’t realise this was possible until I joined the course!  The possibilities are endless and I am so grateful! 

I would (and often do) tell people to definitely consider studying at UCLan Burnley!  It’s such a nice place to be!  I have personally benefited immensely from the student wellbeing support provided and I feel right at home here in Burnley. People are so kind and want to talk to you. I honestly could not praise the staff and the course enough. I love it”.

 

John Taylor
BSc (Hons) Psychology with Psychotherapy and Counselling

John Taylor

I was born and raised in Burnley, just past the hospital. At school the plan was always to go away and study for a degree, but having had a bad experience of university life when I was 18, I had decided that path was not for me. I have had different jobs since I left university the first time round but have never found anything that felt like a real fit.

When I finally deciding to give university study another go, I knew I did not want to move away as I had established a life for myself here in Burnley. Neither did I want to travel too far as that would put a strain on my relationships. Being local, I knew that UCLan was starting a degree course in psychology, so I decided to find out more.

Having spent so long avoiding getting a degree, a course in psychology interested me as I wanted to better understand why I had put it off for so long - whether my behaviour was common or if I really was crazy. That is why Psychology with Psychotherapy and Counselling appealed to me. The counselling skills have helped me to understand the decisions I have made in the past and taught me how to communicate better with my friends and family. Speaking of friends, doing the course at UCLan Burnley has allowed me to make new ones as the class sizes are small.  Everyone feels like part of a group and no one gets lost in the crowd. We all work together to help each other, from understanding the course material to simple things like knowing what room we are in that day.

The lecturers here are great, ready to help with any queries.  As the class sizes are small everything is less formal so if I need any help, I just knock on their office door and someone will be there to answer my question. The Students’ Union is constantly working to improve the social aspect of student life at UCLan Burnley and any administrative problems are quickly solved by the staff at the <I>, the student information desk.

The course has attracted all sorts of people from different backgrounds and a range of ages from 18 to 34, which is kind of fun.  As for Burnley town itself, we really do have some nice places to eat or go for a drink, and there’s always the football at Turf Moor!

So, for other mature students with responsibilities looking to study at university, check out UCLan Burnley – it could be for you, as it was for me.

 

Karen Haworth
BA (Hons) Children, Schools and Families

Karen Haworth

I chose to study at UCLan Burnley because it has a good reputation, and I wanted to complete my degree course.  I find the Children, Schools and Families programme really interesting because the modules underpin all the skills I need to further my career working with children and young people.   It has taught me a lot about legislation and theory; why we do what we do to educate children or young adults and to keep them safe. It opens many doors to a variety of careers and carries a lot of weight academically.

Students are well looked after at UCLan Burnley. The tutors are very supportive and go above and beyond to ensure all learners’ needs are met.  They make the lessons interesting and adapt them according to our needs. Whatever you need to support you through your course is available in a timely manner through Blackboard, our online learning resource. We also have academic writing skills support from WISER through seminars, tutorials and one-to-one appointments. We have a fantastic library and the staff are very helpful.  The <I>, our student information desk and the Course Administration hub, both offer guidance on anything you need including financial, emotional, wellbeing support and practical stuff. The canteen is very well stocked with a variety of tasty meals at affordable prices and there are lots of spaces to work either in groups or individually.

If you want to study at UCLan Burnley, you should be organised and prepared to put the work in but do not be afraid to ask for help.  Enjoy the student life and all it has to offer.  Learning should be fun.

 

Mercedes Lee Whitham
BSc (Hons) Professional Policing

Mercedes Lee Whitham

I was born and raised on a farm in Yorkshire in a small town called Todmorden. I am a mother to a young child, and a baby is due this spring. When I first attended an Open Day at UCLan, I thought that my pregnancy would stand in the way of my education.  However, I was encouraged to apply and re-assured by members of staff that the University would adapt to my needs and offer help and support if I needed it.

For me, I found choosing the right university very easy. Living local to Burnley means my lectures are conveniently only a 25-minute drive away. As well as the convenience aspect, UCLan offers amazing facilities such as study areas, the Students’ Union and the Library - where I spend a lot of my time between lectures. They have an extensive range of books and material for my reading list, which has helped with my assignments.  My tutor goes above and beyond to accommodate me. He regularly checks on my wellbeing and his door is always open if I have any questions.

The course UCLan offers is a direct entry route into the Police, which was exactly what I needed.  The course gives me the option to study for 15 contact hours per week in lectures and tutorials, whilst also spending a further 20+ hours each week studying from the comfort of my own home.

The lecturers and tutors arrange for guest speakers to come in from different organisations to give us an insight into the real world, which is extremely beneficial when trying to gain an understanding of what life is like outside the university. Speakers have included police officers, social workers, young offenders and women’s refuge groups. My coursework has been enhanced by their different perspectives and I continue to have high hopes for my future career prospects in Policing.

 

James Novak
BSc (Hons) Professional Policing

James Novak

I chose to study at UCLan’s Burnley campus because of how much it simplified my decision to study at university.  Initially I was worried about whether I should get student accommodation or commute to UCLan in Preston, and if so, how I would get there. Getting the opportunity to study at UCLan in Burnley made things easier - I just need to get one bus which takes forty minutes.

Since starting my course, I have discovered how quiet it is here. As UCLan Burnley has two sites, I had expected to have many people around me, but when I got here, I found that the small class sizes have made university life so relaxed.  We are close as a group and I got to know the other students very well.  This has given me a great university experience.

Being from Clitheroe, I am lucky enough to live in the same Lancashire county as the main Preston campus, but Burnley campus is even closer to my home and this made the preparation for university much easier.  I never had to worry about getting lost around campus!  I had a smoother transition from college to university than I had expected. We are now applying to join the police force and we have all been fully supported at each step of the application process. This support extends to our assignment where we get feedback on our work up to a week before the deadline, giving us enough time to make required adjustments to achieve the best results in our studies.