Tell us something about what you were doing before you came to Oxford
I was teaching English as a foreign language overseas for 5 years prior to starting the course. My first degree was in music, but a desire to travel led me to teaching and I found I loved it. I took the DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults) by distance the year before coming to Oxford.
What do you like most about studying in the Department of Education?
The department is incredibly friendly. People are very open and approachable, the library staff are lovely, the professors , lecturers and administrative staff are helpful and personable. It’s a very welcoming place in general. I also like that there’s a lot going on there – many workshops/seminars/lectures that you can choose to attend. People from all walks of life study there, and the diversity makes it interesting.
What attracted you to the programme of study here?
The course content was pretty much exactly what I was looking for.
What qualities do you think an Education student at Oxford needs to have in order to be successful?
An education student at Oxford needs to be organised, particularly in terms of time management. They need to take the initiative- you aren’t ‘babied’ through your course so a lot of the work is left to you to get on with.
We hope that you would recommend the Department of Education as a place to come and study. What reasons would you give for this?
As mentioned above, it’s a really friendly department. My course is very well structured in that students are given the necessary training for doing research (e.g. statistics, research methods) early on in the course, and the modules build on each other. It’s a very formative course, with lots of opportunities to get feedback on performance before the assessments take place.
What are your career ambitions after you complete the course?
I plan to stay at the department and embark on the 1+3 DPhil programme.
If I knew before I started the course what I know now, I would….
…have read some published articles in the field to get a feel for how they are structured and to practice critical reading. I would also have started thinking seriously about dissertation topics before the course began.
What are three things that you might suggest to students coming after you to help them get the most out of their time here?
- Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to speak out if you don’t fully understand something. No one will criticise you for it.
- Take copious notes when reading or in lectures. Always remember to write where the notes come from, including (if applicable) the page number.
- Nurture a good working relationship with your supervisor. Their support is invaluable.