Hannah Makinson

What made you choose your course?

I wanted to do a degree for me just so I can achieve a degree qualification but also because I want to finish my teaching off. My industry is hair, beauty and holistic massage and I had already done the salon management course, I wanted to carry from on from this and gain a higher-level qualification so I can teach the business part of the industry or in the future, I can branch off and teach the general areas of leadership and management.

How did you hear about the University Centre?

Originally, I studied at Printworks level 4 NVQ salon management ipl? and laser and I was going to do the leadership and management first but thought the first course would get me into the swing of it. I originally took the beauty pathway but switched to the generic.

What made you choose the University Centre at Leeds City College?

Because of the internal progression, it is the best college I have studied at and my experiences here made me want to carry on from my previous course. I’d much rather study at the University Centre than a traditional University because you get more personalised tuition, the class sizes are smaller compared to a traditional university where you may be sat in a lecture theatre of fifty to one hundred plus people, you get to know the tutors and that way the support network is much better.

What do you enjoy most about studying at the University Centre?

I prefer it now it has become a university centre. It has made the centre more HE focused and there is more of a University feel without being at a traditional university.

Have you completed any work experience while you have been here?

I still practice within industry and I previously managed three academic salons through Wakefield adult education to gain management experience whilst on my degree but I decided that during my Top-Up year to concentrate on my study and looking after my three children.

Is there anything about the University Centre that makes it easier for you to study and look after your family?

I think because the time slots are condensed and you are in the University centre for two days per week rather than two hours per day, it makes it much easier to get childcare when it is needed. The full support network also helps you gain more support during your study and the tutors understand when it comes to additional commitments.

How did you apply the skills you learnt at the University Centre to your job role?

I applied the skills from studying into the job but working also helped me write my assignments as it allowed me to link the work I was undertaking into my assignments. I could put the theory into practice but also the practice into theory.

What advice would you give to someone in your industry?

Undertake additional qualifications, you always need CPD and you never stop learning but personally I feel like I’ve achieved more and it gives me greater advantages when I go back into work as I have the higher qualifications, especially as I would like to teach I need the higher qualification to complete my PGCE which gives me even more career opportunities in the future.

Where are you looking to complete your PGCE qualification?

I would like to stay and study here at the University Centre. The support, guidance and the area of teaching the qualification leads onto is ideal for me.

What advice would you give someone who is unsure on whether to undertake a degree?

I would think about it in depth. Write out some pros and cons and plan your 1 year, 3 year and 5 year plans. Talk to the teams at the university you would like to study at and visit the campuses to really get a feel of what it is like to study there.

As a mature student, is there any advice you would give to someone who is thinking of getting back into education and studying a degree?

I’d say you’re never too old to study, my father in law did a range of careers and then later in life he did a law degree and a social care degree. The age group on our course is vary varied, we have students who start at 18 and then the oldest student is around 40. I think studying at the UC is different to traditional universities as the age group is more varied and you know that everyone has come to enjoy studying and everyone here is focused on the same thing.

Additional comments

The facilities have changed so much since I started studying the course and it shows just how much the staff here listen to the feedback students give throughout their time at the University Centre. I’ve been a student rep for the past three years and at the committee meetings with heads of departments and staff members really listen to our suggests and try to accommodate us. We’ve had an increase in the number of library books we can loan at a time, an increase in licences for online resources, the study zone has been renovated and means we can study away from the college in a quieter, dedicated HE learning zone. It has really made a difference.

All the tutors I have had have been fantastic, the support is great, the feedback is always on time and staff are always approachable whether they teach you or not they are always happy to help.