So…an introduction to me

I have started this blog primarily as a way of procrastinating without feeling guilty because technically this is related to my research. Also I thought this might be a good way to share both my research journey as a newby PhD student, and the ongoing process and findings of my research. I am hoping it will be cathartic to see my journey documented in this way, as opposed to my usual method of writing my thoughts on  on scraps of paper which I will subsequently lose.

I have never ever blogged before, so please forgive me if I display poor blogging etiquette. I guess I should start with a bit about me? Up until a few years ago I worked as a restaurant manager for a well known pizza chain (I couldn’t possibly reveal which one) where I had worked full time since leaving school at 16. I had been there for several years and felt trapped in an industry that essentially I had come to hate. I had no idea I could ever attend university as I had no A-levels or Level 3 qualifications until I found out about Access courses quite accidentally from a girl who I worked with. I immediately enrolled on an Access course at my local college and went on to study for an undergraduate degree in Childhood and Family studies and Education Studies (joint hons). I well and truly caught the ‘bug’ for academia and after finishing my degree I worked as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Wolverhampton where at the same time I also completed a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and then an MA Education last year. I then moved to Birmingham City University to study for my PhD in higher education in September 2016. Essentially since beginning the Access course seven years ago I have never been out of higher education. I literally love it that much.

My PhD is focused on the factors that shape under-graduate student transitions in higher education, both into and out of university. Essentially I am interested in why students come to university, what happens to them while they are there, and what impact does it have on them when they leave. I am very much interested in hearing the ‘stories’ of students, and in giving a voice to those who have historically been marginalised within higher education, therefore I am planning to use a social-biographical methodology that allows me to gain in-depth narratives from a small number of students who embody a number  of (so called) ‘non-traditional’ characteristics. This blog essentially is going to document the journey of my research, and also the journey of myself as a researcher, transitioning to PhD study in a new institution.

I promise that I will post a more interesting blog shortly, I have been informed by a blogging guide (that’s how seriously I am taking this) that a blog always be either interesting, or useful, and I fear that currently this one is neither. I will try and address this in my next post.

Thanks for reading!



This made me smile so I have placed it here as a reward for anyone who managed to make it this far (the blogging guide also said I should insert images so that’s ticked that box)




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