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Deborah Mann

BA (Hons) Social Policy, Health and Housing

Progression Pathway: FdA Social Policy, Health and Housing, BA (Hons) Social Policy, Health and Housing

"My advice to anyone considering a degree course at University Centre St Helens is to go for it! It’s a great experience that I would recommend to anyone. There is plenty of opportunity here, everyone from students to staff are pleasant, supportive and keen to help. From the day I enrolled to the day I leave, I know I’ll get fantastic service, support and patience. This is something I treasure and value."


Deborah’s journey to University Centre St Helens came after she took an eight-year break from education. Previously studying at University Centre St Helens on the Foundation degree Social Policy, Health and Housing, Deborah decided to top up her Foundation Degree to a full BA (Hons) in order to try and further her career. Originally deciding to return to education from a customer service role, Deborah’s wish to work with a range of people in a community setting sparked her interest in the Social Policy, Health and Housing degree, with her decision to return to complete the BA being influenced by her enjoyable experience during her Foundation degree, where she built strong and valued relationships with her lecturers across campus.

Throughout the two years of her Foundation degree, Deborah was involved with a number of initiatives including a work placement at Parr Children’s Centre, where she worked for eight months. Upon successful completion, Deborah was offered a Community Link Worker role with the Children’s Centre, which she successfully pursued alongside her studies.

Deborah was keen to progress her career, stepping up to a role within the NHS as Community Wellbeing and Participation Worker, upon completion of her Foundation Degree, making her the manager of all of the Community Trainee Link Workers and Volunteers within the centre. Deborah stayed with the NHS, where after taking maternity leave, she decided to head back into education to complete the final year top-up qualification.

As a single mum of three, Deborah from St Helens chose University Centre St Helens because of its convenient location and her previous experience. Living away from home or travelling long distances to University just wasn’t an option for Deborah, with the shorter commute time meaning Deborah could juggle life as a student as well as being a mum.

Deborah is a now full-time student on the BA (Hons) Social Policy, Health and Housing degree course and is absolutely loving it. The compulsory work placement that accommodates the BA (Hons) degree course, has seen Deborah working for Shap Ltd, a residential home for emergency care, where she has spent three months.

Here Deborah reintroduced residents, aged 16-18, back into education or training. After showcasing her dedication to the role, Deborah was approached by the organisation, who advised her to apply for a relief role with them, upon completion of her degree course, where she will be working across the board in a range of accommodation provisions.

Speaking to Deborah about her job opportunity, she explained: “I wouldn’t have got this work placement without University Centre St Helens. The degree introduces you to a range of local companies and provide support, which enables you to build your connections. The employability aspect of the course is unique and second to none.”

Outside of her course Deborah has also been involved with a number of activities, including a paid employment opportunity with University Centre St Helens as lead student rep. The role involves meeting with senior leaders, where she has direct input into meetings and outcomes.

Upon competition of her degree Deborah has long-term ambitions to move her career into teaching, taking the skills and knowledge gained from her degree with her on her journey.

To those considering a degree at University Centre St Helens, Deborah advises: “Do it! It’s a great experience that I would recommend to anyone. There is plenty of opportunity here, everyone from students to lecturers are all pleasant, supportive and keen to help. From the day I enrolled to the day I leave, I know I’ll get fantastic service, support and patience. This is something I treasure and value.”

To find out more about Social Policy, Health and Housing
please visit our dedicated page.