When you tell people you are studying medicine, they ask you if you want to become a doctor or nurse. However, when you tell people that you are doing Housing Studies at university, the majority have no clue what it is all about and they ask if you build houses, learn about building or what exactly what do you do?
The truth is that I do not blame people for not knowing what Housing Studies entails since the fact is that I did not have any idea myself before the start of my course. All I knew is that I wanted to support homeless people to live in a quality home with the right support. I believed I could achieve that by studying Housing at university.
I now know that working in housing will allow me to support people further. During my studies, I realised that working in the sector does not only allow you to support homeless people, but, you also have the opportunity to support a variety of tenants to gain social networks and to live independently in their own homes and in their community. Housing organisations respond to many changes, for instance, welfare policy which affects both social landlords and their tenants. They are always proactively working with their tenants to deliver services that enable people to sustain tenancies and reduce the homelessness rate.
I started my housing journey with Cardiff Met without any knowledge of housing apart from my desire to work hard and achieve the best. I remember when I went crying to my tutors in my first year worrying that other students had experience in housing apart from me. My tutors assured me that they believed in me, and likewise made me believe in myself. The journey was not easy and smooth, but having excellent tutors like Janet Beauchamp, Marc Fury, and Helen Taylor made the experience very positive. They genuinely care about all their students and their success.
I was also advised to partake in Cardiff Met Award in order to do some extra-curricular activities for the benefit of my own personal development. With the support of my Tutors and Alison Larner, I completed the Cardiff Met Award, Leadership skills and the sustainable thinking level of the Award. Completing the Cardiff Met Award in addition to other housing modules has improved my confidence, awareness of my own skills, likewise my interview skills. I have recently done some interviews with some positive feedback and good job opportunities.
The Housing Studies lecturers are brilliant tutors who have a thorough knowledge of concepts, research and policy. They have ensured we are well prepared to begin a career in the housing profession. They made the learning real and relevant by organising educational visits to different housing organisations to discuss and present the accuracy of real-life.
The Housing Studies tutors have not only helped me to understand the hardest topics in housing, but they have also allowed me to enjoy and treasure topics such as value for money, systems thinking, Housing First and tenant involvement and empowerment. This summer I graduated with First Class BSc (Hons) Housing Studies. I started my degree course one week after I had a baby. I did not let this stop me from achieving my goal and plan for a better future. Although having supportive and extremely inspiring tutors who are wonderful to work with, has helped me to achieve the best. They gave me an additional reason to work harder and to never to give up. I would never have reached this level without their assistance.
When I started my final year, I was a bit worried with what I was going to do after my degree, since I realised that many jobs offer would ask for degree qualification and job experience. Housing Studies department allows every student to complete a work placement to gain a valuable experience and equip them for employment.
In general terms, my degree qualification in Housing Studies has given me more chances to secure a job and good role with Pobl Group Housing Association. I have also recently just completed the first stage of interview for the post of housing management trainee with Monmouthshire Housing Association and Rhondda Cynon Taff Council.
Housing sector is where you can be effective, influence and support a wide variety of people. Therefore, if you have a passion to make a difference in people’s lives, I believe Housing Studies is an exciting and effective option for you and the right place to do this course is at Cardiff Metropolitan University.