Tips for perfecting your undergraduate dissertation: SoE UG alumna, Ahanah Bhatnagar

School of Education recent UG alumna Ahanah BhatnagarSchool of Education alumna Ahanah Bhatnagar offers some top tips for writing your undergraduate dissertation – from a student who’s completed theirs

I submitted my final assignment for my undergraduate degree two months ago. It is safe to say that my focus this year was the dissertation unit. My dissertation focused on racial inequalities in education, specifically exploring the experiences of ethnic minority educators in Bristol. During the nine-month writing process, I came across several obstacles and challenges. However, I also learnt a lot of tips which I’m hoping to share with students both in the early stages of their degree, and those entering their final year, so their dissertation journey can be a smoother process. (more…)

Salma’s story: What is it like to conduct doctoral research during a pandemic?

Blog post by Salma Al Saifi, doctoral researcher at the School of Education, University of Bristol

The spread of the worldwide pandemic of Covid-19 with all the strict measures and restrictions applied to minimize its impact on people’s lives have posed a serious challenge to the conduct of my research project. For instance, conducting fieldwork such as interviews and classroom observations during such circumstances was problematic and challenging for me. (more…)

Undergraduate Open Week: Why study Psychology in Education at Bristol University?

Undergraduate Open Week 2021 special Q & A | Liv Fowler, Psychology in Education undergraduate student, School of Education, University of Bristol

Hello! Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, my name is Liv and I study Psychology in Education at the School of Education, Bristol University,  and when I am not at university I live in Devon with my family.

While being home more this year I decided to train as an immuniser in the NHS to help vaccinate the country against Covid-19 which has been an amazing experience. I love spending time with my nephews Bertie and Hugo and I do have a slight obsession with Bubble Tea! (more…)

The effects of Covid-19 on pre-existing inequalities in the UK

Blog by Jáfia Naftali Câmara Doctoral Researcher, School of Education, University of Bristol

The Covid-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted not only lifestyle and work, but also how people access education and learning. The effects of Covid-19 on education have accentuated the inequalities already embedded within the UK’s education system and demonstrated the relationships between deep-rooted educational, systemic and economic inequalities.

Disadvantaged students, including refugees and asylum seekers living in Britain, face many barriers such as digital exclusion and food poverty. Poor immigrant children are also affected by immigration laws and procedures that exclude them from accessing vital services and support. In response to the effects of Covid-19, the UK government’s policy interventions have made centralised decisions enabling for profitable opportunities for education businesses and unsatisfactory support services for disadvantaged communities. (more…)

Where was the colonial history in our education?

Reflections after an EdJAM dialogue between UK and Pakistan university students. Blog by Kerry Parsons, BSc Education Studies, School of Education.

Why is my knowledge limited about the colonial past, the violence and the colonial structural legacies that still exist today?

I am a mature student in Education Studies at the School of Education, University of Bristol. One of my second-year units, ‘Education Viewed from the Global South’, has broadened my understanding of the continued colonial structures through past and present education. Knowledge hierarchies and dominant narratives have been a prominent discussion in this unit. Each weekly topic focused on a different southern scholar from across the global south and we were encouraged to critically discuss the varied educational theories and lived experiences of colonialism. (more…)

Educating the Ritas

By Sarah McLaughlin, BA(Hons), MSC. PGCE, School of Education, University of Bristol (Doctorate in Education student)

Educating the Ritas – My research into the interaction between habitus and field for working class women on an Access to Higher Education (HE) course.

Willy Russell’s (1981) play ‘Educating Rita’ presents a biography of Rita – a white working-class woman who returns to education as a mature student and faces conflict with her sense of self as she embarks upon a journey of self-discovery and erudition. Rita has her eyes and mind opened through her studies yet struggles as she becomes aware of her social class identity, and her role as a working-class wife starts to conflict with the educated woman she emerges into. Rita’s social class identity is reconstructed, and she rejects the gender roles and expectations put upon her by her marriage and class. Rita struggles with how to inhabit her time at university compared to her time at home and at the pub with friends. This causes inner turmoil as she straddles two different worlds. For Rita, education provides power and emancipation but not without a struggle or crisis of identity. Rita’s story is familiar to many of my own students. (more…)

How does anxiety impact exam performance in adolescence?

Blog post by Lydia Titcombe, School of Education UG, Psychology in Education (BSc)

Many of us have experienced situations where we feel highly anxious. This can include physiological effects of sweaty palms and a racing heartbeat, which are adaptive responses to danger, and cognitive processes such as feeling worried and struggling to think clearly (Lowe and Lee, 2007; Stirling & Hellewell, 1999, p.80).

However, although useful when fighting an evolutionary threat, this is potentially problematic in the modern world where high-stress situations require quick thinking and concentration. (more…)

SoE undergraduate students Q&A: Molly and Simona

In this week’s blog, the School of Education spotlights two of our current undergraduate students, Simona Chen (BSc Education Studies) and Molly Fowler (BSc Psychology in Education).  Simona and Molly tell us why they chose the School of Education, their future plans, and offer tips for those thinking about studying education in Bristol. (more…)

Mental health during a global pandemic

Claire Plews, EdD student, School of Education, University of BristolBlog post by Claire Plews, EdD Student, School of Education, University of Bristol.

Claire is an EdD student at the School of Education, interested in researching the experiences of counselling students in HE training.  She is a HE lecturer for a counselling degree training programme in the UK, has worked in mental health for 20 years and is interested in the use of compassion and mindfulness in therapy. 

To be betwixt and between a global pandemic and ‘normal’ life undoubtedly has the potential to greatly impact on daily life and our mental health.

How interesting and difficult it has been to observe the mental health journey of others whilst navigating my own during this last year!  Most of us have been coerced into a period of self-reflection on what does and does not help us keep mentally well and coping. It has been the best of times and the worst of times and the end is not in sight just yet.

Here are a few themes that have come out of my observations of working with clients, students and my own research and experiences this year and a suggestion of what we can do to help our mental health during the pandemic. (more…)

A working-class academic (and proud)!

By Sarah McLaughlin, BA(Hons), MSC. PGCE, School of Education, University of Bristol  (Doctorate in Education student)

I have found the School of Education very welcoming and my supervisors extremely encouraging and supportive…my experience during EdD taught modules is that students and staff have made me feel valued, included and accepted.

I have many roles – I am a mum of two boys, a sociology lecturer for an Access to Higher Education course and an A-level class. I am also a Doctorate in Education academic. I use the term academic because that is what I am and I am really proud of this, however I have never felt that I am a ‘real’ academic because I definitely suffer from imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern whereby individuals feel they aren’t as intelligent or competent as others might think. For me, I think this impression comes from the fact that, due to my social class background, I have never felt that I have been a ‘real’ student. (more…)