Lauren Burton

Before studying at Oxford, I spent three years reading Psychology at the University of Warwick. It was during this period that I acquired a genuine interest in understanding how children learn and develop in an educational setting. This led me to embark upon the Masters in Child Development and Education in October 2011.

I was initially drawn towards this programme as it provided an opportunity to examine children’s educational attainment in greater depth. The unique course structure was attractive as an equal emphasis was placed on the development of both theoretical and applied knowledge. Undoubtedly, the University of Oxford’s outstanding reputation for graduate studies also made the institution an obvious choice. As one of the world’s strongest research universities, I was eager to immerse myself in a culture committed to academic excellence.

Whilst on this programme, I particularly enjoyed critically analysing the effectiveness of interventions and policies designed to promote children’s reading and spelling outcomes through the provision of weekly lectures, seminars and workshops. The research internship was another appealing feature, which noticeably enhanced my competency in a diverse range of educational assessments and research methods. In addition, the modes of assessment incorporated both coursework and a dissertation, which not only enabled me to evaluate and reflect upon current research, but also allowed me to pursue my own avenues of enquiry.

Moreover, I genuinely enjoyed working alongside such inspirational and highly qualified academic specialists during the Masters programme. Being surrounded by leading experts in the field of educational research enabled me to absorb and use their abundance of knowledge on a daily basis.

Since completing the course, I have been awarded an ESRC 1+3 Studentship to pursue further postgraduate study in the Department of Education. The Masters took me on a stimulating educational journey, which has fuelled my desire to extend my exploration of developmental research to doctoral level. Ultimately, it is my intention to follow a career in academia and I believe that the knowledge and skills I acquired during this programme will play a fundamental role in this process.