A chance conversation with my friend Sharon Beasley led to me enrolling on the first ever 2+2 Social Studies programme which was in partnership with North Warwickshire College (now North Warwickshire and South Leicester College) and the University of Warwick. Sharon told me about this exciting opportunity at a toddler group we both attended. At the time I had two young children and had decided not to return to my career in banking and finance. Nobody in my family had ever gone to university, but it seemed an exciting prospect and a way to achieve my childhood dream of becoming a teacher.
The course was due to begin in September 1991 which was excellent timing for me as my oldest child was due to start school and my youngest could attend the on-site nursery at North Warwickshire College, the availability of a grant made this financially achievable. I quickly rediscovered my love for learning and made some great friends amongst my cohort, we developed a strong support network as the majority of us were parents with young children. In the first two years we studied Sociology, Politics, Economics and Law. Sociology was my favourite and I credit Ronnie White’s enthusiasm and inspirational teaching for this.
Moving to the University was a daunting prospect after the relative security and convenience of North Warwickshire College. However, the support network was yet again a great help as we organised car shares to spread the cost of travel and helped each other out with childcare where necessary. My love of Sociology was deepened by the wonderful Margaret Archer at the University of Warwick, she was a wonderful role model to me. It was a very proud moment when I graduated with a 2:1, all the hard work and sacrifices had paid off.
After graduating, I completed a PGCE in Social Science at the University of Leicester and became a secondary school teacher. After just a year of teaching, I secured a position as Head of Department. However, I now had to teach Psychology alongside Sociology, so was concerned about my lack of qualifications in psychology. My love of learning led me to complete a MSC in Psychology with the Open University. I enjoyed a great career in teaching until 2018 when I decided to change direction and become an Independent Educational Consultant. I now work freelance running CPD training for teachers, writing, assessing and tutoring students. My first book (a book for trainee psychology teachers) is due to be published this year, which will be another very proud moment.
The 2+2 programme really did change my life. Both of my daughters went to university (I hope inspired by my example!), one being a primary school teacher and the other a midwife.
About the author
This blog was written by 2+2 degree pathway alumna, Deborah Gajic, CPsychol.