Rhian Gohil is a 24-year-old first-year Primary Education (two-year accelerated degree) BA (Hons) student. She is one of the first students on the accelerated programme. We caught up with her to share her university experience.
Tell us a bit about your background and what led you to choose London Met?
I have worked in many different institutions, both in London and overseas (Australia and Italy). I never went to University after finishing my A-Levels as I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do at 18 plus being the year of the fee increase, I was dubious to jump into something that I didn’t love!
Only upon spending a year teaching English as a foreign language in schools and summer camps across Italy did I realise that teaching was something that I’d like to become qualified in and practice as a profession. London Met was offering Primary Education (two-year accelerated degree) BA (Hons) and the University was a perfect location for me as it is easily commutable from my family home in Chelmsford but also allows me the opportunity to live in London where all my friends work and live too.
Why did an accelerated degree in primary education appeal to you?
The accelerated degree programme appealed to me because it enables me (as a mature student) to complete and obtain a degree qualification in less time than a traditional degree course. I am able to achieve what I need, dedicate my time and efforts in getting the best degree I can in as little time as I can and still feeling like I’m not sacrificing too much! By sacrificing I mean it will take me less time to get a degree so I can make a start on my career and establish myself.
Do you feel that going to university sends other people in your family or friendship circle a positive message? And why?
Absolutely! I never envisaged myself going to uni as an adult but I’m so glad I did and having my family and friends support makes a huge difference. It also shows that if you enjoy doing something, you should pursue it.
What makes the accelerated course an especially valuable degree?
I think by being able to have completed a degree in two years shows determination, drive and excellent skills. These are the points that can be highlighted to future employers post-graduation and are skills that will help you to work life.
How has the university helped in terms of inspiring you?
We’ve done a very small amount of industry experience so far but we are due to start placement in the summer which hopefully will give me a much better idea of what it will be like to be a primary school teacher and whether it is something I definitely want to do.
Do you feel that you’ve changed as a person through your uni experience so far? If so how?
I do, I’ve learnt to manage my time, work and social life to ensure I have a balance. By reading for this course, I am now able to reflect and analyse things deeper. I have found a new love for learning which I thought I’d lost after college. I have learnt to live alone and overcome the challenges that it brings but also to look after my health and body by putting myself first. I’ve made new friends through my course that enrich my life. All of this has been achieved so far from going to University.
In the university who has had the most impact on your development and why?
I’d say my lecturers and module tutors. They feed us the information for the modules and guide us on how to do our assignments. We are writing for them so whatever feedback I receive directly affects my development as their advice is what I usually take on board to other modules and my writing.
What’s it been like studying among such diverse students, what benefit did it bring?
It’s certainly been challenging, with many of us from different backgrounds, races and cultures but I think with the nature of our course and the modules we are studying for example challenges with inclusion, how people learn, barriers to learning and special educational needs. has helped us bring a lot to the table within our learning environment with a variety of shared experiences. Plus in our future profession, our jobs will be to embrace diversity so it’s a great place to start with our peers.
Do you see yourself going on to do a PGCE? If yes, why do you want to get into teaching?
At this stage, I’m unsure. I think I’d like to stay in education, but I’m not ready to make a decision on whether the PGCE course is for me. I love teaching others and supporting people and making a difference so maybe once I’ve been in the classroom, I will change my mind!
Can you sum up your experience so far in one word?
Any advice for new students
Read, read, read. Do all the weekly tasks and reading as it will deepen your understanding of the topics when it comes to writing. Especially with the accelerated course with two modules running side by side, you need to juggle quite a lot so it’s good to maximise the time you have early on.
Is there anything else we haven't covered above that you'd like to tell us about your time at the University?
On the plus side, I really like the university’s initiatives, like green week, recycling and the canteen. There’s always a nice atmosphere and the facilities are good.
Have look at our Primary Education (two-year accelerated degree) BA (Hons) video.