As a mature student, my journey with education has been a unique one.

It has been shaped by a passion for hands-on experiences and a desire to work with children. Having always been drawn to professions that involve being outdoors, particularly in a daycare setting with babies, I found myself unsure about the traditional university route after leaving college. I was also hesitant to pursue higher education due to the complexities of UCAS points and the uncertainty of where to begin.

Several years later, the landscape of education underwent a significant transformation with the rise of free online courses. I decided to embrace the opportunity to learn online, exploring a myriad of subjects that might have otherwise been inaccessible. It was during 2020 that I stumbled upon an advertisement for the University of Essex Online. As they offer accredited degrees based on work experience or previous academic achievements, this seemed like the perfect opportunity for someone like me who had become accustomed to the flexibility of online learning.

I reached out to the admissions team and to my surprise, their enthusiasm and belief in my ability to succeed in this academic journey surpassed even my own doubts of considering my extended hiatus from formal education. The decision to enrol turned out to be one of the most rewarding steps I’ve taken. Since joining Essex Online, I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with like-minded individuals from around the globe, all sharing a passion for the field I love.

One of the key lessons I’ve learned on this journey is the importance of time management. Balancing studies with a full-time job and raising children demands a strategic approach and the university’s supportive community has been instrumental in helping me stay focused. Away from study, I’ve discovered the therapeutic benefits of making silly videos on TikTok with my teenagers and little ones. And while my violin playing may not be as frequent as it once was, indulging in it for pure enjoyment adds a creative dimension to my life.

In essence, Essex Online has been more than an academic institution; it has been a catalyst for personal growth and a reminder that education can be tailored to fit the unique circumstances of each learner.


Interested in seeing where a degree in psychology could take you? To find out more, download a prospectus

Kerry Kirkham

I can use my qualification to guide me into to a career that empowers people to get the help they deserve, as well as give something back to the community.

Marnee Gamboa

I chose to further my education with a Masters degree in Global Digital Marketing with the University of Essex Online. This decision was fuelled by the flexibility of the course and the supportive community, aligning perfectly with my aspirations and background.

Nicholas Pillay

What really sets the University of Essex Online experience apart is the exciting online lectures. They curate interactive and fascinating lecturecasts to keep you engaged throughout each module.