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Graduation 2015: Awards hat trick for Ashley

Ashley Kirwan Wednesday 22 July 2015

Ashley Kirwan achieved First Class Honours in BA Education and Geography and received three awards during the Prize-giving Service:

-          Winner of the Education Studies Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Education Studies

-          Winner of the Geoff Taylor Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Geography

-          Winner of the Derwent Prize for the Best Performance by a Final Year Combined Honours Student.

“Before I began studying at Hope I knew little about the University, and hadn't been to visit during an open day. However this isn't something I regret, as any doubts I held were dispelled just a week into my degree. I instantly found the University and the city of Liverpool had warm, welcoming and friendly atmospheres. The students I met became friends almost immediately and remained so throughout the duration of the course.

“I had originally applied for Primary Teaching (QTS) with Modern Foreign Languages. However due to my late application, and perhaps relative lack of qualifications, I found myself studying Education combined with Geography. This new challenge was made less daunting by the tutors, who were reassuringly supportive and explained the tasks that lay ahead in a way that made them slightly less scary. They gave my course mates and I the belief that achieving a top degree was always going to be possible if we gave it our all.

“Opportunities to go beyond the constraints of the lecture/seminar routine were abundantly available. By the end of my first year, I was in collaboration with universities across the country in creating an undergraduate journal, and by the end of the second year, I found myself in a rural town in Hungary with students across Europe studying the benefits of sustainable education.

“In my final year, I had my research accepted for presentation at the British Education Studies Association conference, so I'm having to go back and dig up the dreaded dissertation for further reworking in advance of this! Education Studies threw up surprises left, right and centre and there was no telling where I would end up year after year. The opportunities that I've had have been easy to come by, because every tutor on my course pushes their students to fulfil their potential, offering them the chance to go further than they ever thought possible.

“In September 2015, I will begin a primary teacher training course in Bristol.  However, it's going to take an awful lot to compare to my experience at Liverpool Hope University.”

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