Finalist, Harriette Miller, shares her route back into education and looks back on her 4 years studying with CLL…
After having children, I began to view society differently and became interested in political and social issues. I experienced adversities during secondary school and thought that returning to education was unachievable. However, in 2017, I decided to consider my options and subsequently came across the 2+2 Degree Pathway. I immediately recognised that the course content aligned with my interests and my drive to acquire knowledge and address social inequalities. Despite my worries about my lack of educational qualifications, I applied and gained a place on the programme.
I undertook the initial two years at a partner college to aid the transition to the University of Warwick. The knowledge I acquired at college provided me with a strong theoretical foundation in social science. It was challenging to adapt to writing academically, but with the course tutors’ support, I achieved grades that I never knew I could achieve! Applying the skills I had learnt at college in my final two years at Warwick was really rewarding. I enjoyed having more independence to study whilst also continuing to receive the same level of support. This was essential to me as a mature student with caring responsibilities.
I have enjoyed every aspect of my learning experience, even the challenging parts! Meeting and collaborating with students from various backgrounds has been a particular highlight. The contribution of diverse views and experiences to class discussions has been invaluable. The pandemic has been extremely difficult for everyone. I was unsure as to whether I would be able to maintain my focus and attainment. However, CLL and Warwick staff have been great at minimising the disruption to learning. I actually quite enjoy having online classes in the comfort of my own home!
In my final two years, I transferred to the more specialised Health and Social Policy pathway and chose modules that aligned with my interests. I undertook the module ‘Food: Critical Perspectives’, which critically analyses food development’s socio-political and economic aspects. Through this module, I developed a strong interest in food systems and food security, and the support and feedback I received from Steve, the module leader, was invaluable.
The 2+2 Degree Pathway: Social Studies course has provided me with an opportunity to realise my academic potential. I hope to continue my studies and pursue my interest in food systems by undertaking postgraduate study in the next academic year. In the future, I intend on applying the knowledge and transferable skills I’ve gained at Warwick by pursuing a career in policy or research. I would highly recommend the course to anyone. In fact, I’ve enjoyed it so much that my partner has started the course too!