Beth Thomas 

Completing this course I have gained a deeper insight in to what issues children and young people are facing today, which I have applied to best inform my practice.

Beth chose distance learning to progress her career and study something she's always dreamed of. Working full-time, it was important to Beth to do a degree in her own time, at her own pace, to accommodated her bipolar disorder.

I chose this course as I wanted to develop my knowledge and skills in this area. In my job role I provide mentoring services for children and young people who need support with their emotional, mental, and social wellbeing. In addition, I am involved in Lived Experience Advisory Boards and the Spokesperson Network, where I use my lived experiences of child mental ill health to raise awareness about the issues children and young people face when it comes to their wellbeing.

Through my own lived experiences, my job role and what I have learnt through my MSc, I am able to have a more in-depth understanding of child and adolescent mental wellbeing and shape the services that I provide to best suit the needs of the children and young people who access them.

Currently there is such an issue with children and young people trying to access mental health and wellbeing support that we need more trained professionals working with this demographic to know how to best support their needs.

To be able to delve into a subject that you are passionate about and to explore different topics within that subject was really motivating. You also can’t beat that feeling when you submit an assignment that you worked so hard on!

Discover your strengths

The skills and knowledge I have gained from the course have enabled me to draw on current research to help inform funding bids and report writing.

Having access to research has helped when discussing and addressing the issues children and young peoples experience. I also found that my writing overall had improved a great deal as it had been over a decade since I had graduated with my Bachelors.

To be able to delve into a subject that you are passionate about and to explore different topics within that subject was really motivating. You also can’t beat that feeling when you submit an assignment that you worked so hard on!

Tips for students

Ensure you take regular breaks during your studies. Make sure you block at least one day a week in your diary to just be ‘you’. I found what worked for me was to work on my studies on an evening and then one day on the weekend. I made sure that I had at least one weekend day off so I could do the things I enjoyed.

Consider online study if you don’t have the capacity to access courses on campus. It can seem a bit intimidating doing a whole master’s degree online, but it really is a feasible way to study if you have work commitments and childcare responsibilities.

I think it is important to take this into consideration when you are thinking about doing a degree, it is possible, but you must be prepared to do a lot of work.

Why ARU?

I found both staff and support services very helpful. My queries were always answered quickly. The learning management system was clear and easy to navigate. Overall the University facilities were accessible with plenty of information and new research to access to support my learning.

Although stressful at times, overall, I really enjoyed my experience of studying at ARU. I found the course content interesting, the support services very pro-active and I loved the challenge.

By completing this course, you will gain a deeper insight in to what issues children and young people face which can then be applied to best inform your practice.



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Sophie Haggis - ARU Student

To anyone who is interested in human behaviour, mental health and just people in general, this course is amazing! I strongly believe that we should all be learning constantly throughout our life. No one is too old, too busy, or too inexperienced to learn new things.

Read Sophie's story
Dean - ARU Distance Learning Student

I have left with a newfound confidence, resilience and enthusiasm for distance learning and study in general. The experience has shaped me for future study and given me skills for life, both personally and professionally.

Read Dean's story
Rachael - ARU Student

I found the staff immensely helpful and supportive. Each module provided an opportunity to learn something new, put it into practice, reflect on it and see the positive results.

Read Rachael's story
Farah - ARU Distance Learning Student

I found ARU a welcoming and diverse community. Module tutors were always approachable and the assistance I was given during my studies was fabulous. I'm very career oriented, and was given the opportunity to get involved in research right from day one.