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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Emma Harris PGCE Secondary History

Emma Harris's Photo

Hi, I'm Emma Harris and I am studying PGCE Secondary History.

I am proud of the growth that I have seen in myself both academically and personally during my course.


Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

I felt happy knowing that the University would try their best to accommodate my placements based on my desired location, making travel time and work-life balance much easier. I was particularly drawn to the structure of the course whereby I would be teaching four days a week and in University for the fifth – this seemed much more supportive knowing I would be checking in with my tutor and course mates every week.

What is it like studying here?

I have particularly enjoyed the many talks from members of the education sector outside of the University, including past PGCE students sharing their current experiences and expertise, adding to the breadth and depth of understanding the course has provided me about teaching. I have always felt very supported by my tutor and course mates during my time at Southampton – I always knew that even if I had the slightest little worry or concern, they would be there to talk with me about it.

How do you rate the study facilities at the University?

The library, including online, provides great access to a wealth of resources which have fully supported my research and assignments. The staff in the library were very helpful too when I had queries about resources and where to find them as getting used to a new library layout can be difficult! Even during busy periods I was pleased to always find space in the library to work.

Have you undertaken any work placements, collaborations with industry, internships, studying abroad or volunteering? How have these enhanced your experience?

The majority of the PGCE course is spent on two school placements. Training in two different schools allowed me to experience different challenges, successes and communities that have greatly enhanced my knowledge and development.

What are you most proud of from your time at Southampton so far?

I am proud of the growth that I have seen in myself both academically and personally during my course. I was aware that the course would be challenging, but it has only served me positively – I feel I have grown as a person, able to face fear and challenge with much more resilience, I feel so much more confident in my ability as a teacher now and I feel that this was thoroughly supported by the course.

What do you think you have gained from your studies that you wouldn’t have developed without them?

Being able to hear from and talk with professionals from outside the University through the course has helped me to establish a great network of contacts and resources for my future career – I feel that the great network that the University has with schools helped me to secure my NQT position for September. The course has helped me to become a much more resilient and confident person, which I look forward to demonstrating when I start my career.

How have the people you have met at Southampton changed your life?

Having a smaller cohort meant that we were able to develop some great relationships between us as course mates – the cohort has been extremely supportive for each other, creating a strong network of future teachers where we can share ideas and advice that will continue into the future.

What will you do with your degree/research after you have finished your studies?

My PGCE has allowed me to secure myself a NQT position at a local secondary school ready to start in September which I am very excited about.

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