August 6, 2019

Sammy Chapman

Deciding on what university to study at and what course to choose can be a difficult decision to make for any student leaving sixth form or college. I found myself in this same dilemma when considering where to further my education. I decided that a course with both education studies and drama was the best fit for me, as I had an academic interest in pedagogy and a passion for drama, and my plan was to become a Secondary Drama teacher. The joint honours Humanities degree at Cardiff Met provides a platform for growth, on an academic, social and personal level. Little did I know after graduating I would be staying in Cardiff with a different career path ahead of me in research.

Studying in Cardiff
Take it from someone who has moved to Cardiff at the age of 18 and now decided to stay until at least my mid-to-late 20s, the city of Cardiff is a brilliant place to learn, grow and engage with the wider community. There is an exciting night life that offers many fun places to go to (Live Lounge being a personal favourite!). The numerous parks and fields that are in the local area are also a favourite of mine, with Roath Park Lake on the doorstep of most Cardiff Met students.

The Degree
Globalisation was a key aspect of many of the Drama modules as the course allows you to consider the wider world around you. The module ‘Other Theatres’ provided a chance to do just this, with forms of theatre and drama from across the globe being taught within the content of the module. This gave me the chance to learn about new forms of theatre, such as political theatre, as well as attempting to incorporate new languages and styles into our performances. ‘Other Theatres’ ran as a third-year module, which gave us the opportunity to explore these new techniques we had learnt in the optional ‘Performance Project’ module, rather than studying a dissertation.

During a scene and technical rehearsal for my Year 3 ‘Performance Project’.

The ‘Performance Project’ module acts as an alternative option to the traditional 10,000-word dissertation that can be completed on the Educational Studies side of the course. It was great to be given the option to choose between the two routes as you could decide which suited your career plans the most. The module comprises of an hour long performance plus a 4,000-word written element. Personally, I decided to do the ‘Performance Project’ as it seemed like a creative process where you could include all that you have learnt over the three years of the degree. This was a fantastic learning experience as it gave me the chance to revisit content that I had already learned and test out new practitioners that I had not been assessed on before. Being given the ability to work alongside academic staff, and engage in a creative dialogue with them, was an experience that I will always be extremely grateful for.

It was not only the Drama modules that I found to be enjoyable and academically engaging. One Education Studies module which really stood out for me was the ‘ICT: Pedagogy and Practice’ module. I learned about new and developing technologies and how they can be used within teaching and learning, such as apps and mobile phones. I found this to be extremely important for any aspiring teacher or researcher, as technology is an ever-growing and changing aspect of education that will continue to become an important element of our everyday lives.

This module impacted me greatly and influenced both my Masters’ dissertation, focusing on the Digital Competence Framework (DCF), and my decision to enrol onto a PhD (also looking at the DCF) at Cardiff Met.

My career change
I have loved my time at Cardiff Met, so much so I have stayed after graduating with a first class honours. Before I started the course I had a clear career path set out in my mind – to be a Secondary Drama teacher, with my degree and to study a Secondary PGCE afterwards. After starting my PGCE course I quickly changed my mind as I realised Secondary school teaching was not for me. I decided to enrol on the MA Education course at Cardiff Met instead and I now work as a Research Assistant on the SHOUT4HE Research Project whilst studying my PhD, and I have never looked back!

I would really recommend both the city of Cardiff and the BA (Hons) Education Studies & Drama to anyone who has an interest in either Drama or Education and wants to learn from excellent academic staff in a welcoming and fun community.

I’m proof you can change your mind and career path whilst studying and I would 100% recommend studying at Cardiff Met!