Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A Matter of Degrees

It's all relative and a matter of degrees. That's today's philosophy anyway.

Yesterday I sat my final exam for my final course for a BA/BSc hons with the Open University.

I started studying with them in 2002 when I was in the police force. I fancied social policy/children's studies as I worked in Child Protection but when I left that field, I decided to change to creative writing. This allowed me to work towards an Open degree so I have ended up with modules comprising of social sciences, counselling, creative writing (fiction/plays/poety) and working with children and families - a mixed bag of courses but all relevent and worthwhile to me.

I'd always wanted to study for a degree. I was brought up believing I had the skill and ability to do so. I'd wanted to be teacher and hoped to be the first in our family to go to university. When I was seventeen my parents moved to East Anglia which meant I had to either leave school and go with them and get a job or leave school and stay in Hartlepool and get a job. I couldn't continue with my A levels as all schools/sixth form in Norwich did different syllabses and if I stayed in the North, I couldn't fund myself to stay at school. So I stayed, found a job and moved into a seafront flat over on the Headland of Hartlepool. It wasn't a good time.

I turned my life around and moved to London in 1985 to join the Metropolitan Police. But I still didn't have that degree.

My clever little sister went off to uni and I was so proud when she earned her degree in psychology (with maths/statistics as components - told you she was clever!).

At thirty six, with three children 6,5, and 3, working full time in a demanding job and a husband who worked shifts, I started my first OU course. I knew it would be tough. I knew I would falter at times and wish I'd never bothered. I knew that when I'd finished, it would all be worth it.

Yesterday, 11th October 2010, I sat my final exam on my final course to complete my degree.

They've already offered me a choice of either a BA or BSc and said I can accept it now but given my grade of pass after the results on 17th December. I think I might wait - wouldn't want to attempt fate. Besides, I'm still trying to work which is better - BA or BSc. But you know what? It doesn't really matter. I've now got that damn elusive degree.


  1. I'm happy for you! Congrats! :D

  2. Fantastic, Effie! My mom studied while we were all very small. I have always felt so proud of her because of that. Me? I've just started the road to getting that degree. Great inspiration, Effie.

  3. Hi, Effie! Congratulations! So well done to you. Now you have your degree - and it does matter. Great stuff!