Kirsty Abbott, MA Choldhood Studies student

Kirsty Abbott

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I am the eldest child of three and the first in my family to go to university. I am married, have two daughters aged 7 and 8, and decided in 2012 to go back to university to pursue a career in family support.

What motivated you to apply for your course at Leeds?

I think, after having my children, it made me more focused and I wanted to achieve something that not only I could be proud of but that my children would be proud of me for too. I went back to college, did my access to higher education course and started at the University of Leeds in 2012. I graduated from my Bachelor of Arts in 2015 with a 2.1 classification and was then told I had been awarded a scholarship to come back to do my studies at a masters level. I then decided to study MA Childhood Studies and I am really glad I chose to do so.

What do you think of your course so far? 

I love that this course has taken me onto the next level with my previous learnings, and has helped me to expand my knowledge and skillset. I feel like it has really helped in my family support work as it has enabled me to understand different conditions, theories and perspectives of a wide range of things from disabilities to politics and acts surrounding families, societies and expectations.

What do you think of the facilities?

I have really enjoyed being a part of the University of Leeds and I have received great support from my tutors and the support staff. The libraries have a wide range of books and resources. Training has allowed me to progress in my course.

Can you tell us a bit about your internship? 

When my tutor suggested working with Tutti Frutti, I was unsure whether it would be the avenue I wished to take with my studies. However, after working with them and developing my dissertation, it has been the best thing I have done. Seeing how they developed a play from rehearsal to trial run to taking it into schools for the children to see has been amazing. I have used this placement to develop my dissertation on children’s understandings of information given through theatre: in this case, a play about a boy with ADHD. The findings have been amazing and the company have been very helpful and welcoming.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

Do it! Applying and studying at the University of Leeds has been amazing. I have loved every minute of my four years here and would really recommend the Childhood Studies course. It covers such a wide range of topics from democracy in education and the Every Child Matters green paper to reading comprehension, disability and children in the digital age. I feel sad that my time here at Leeds is coming to an end, but I am also looking forward to my next journey.

What are your plans for the future?

I have managed to secure a placement with a family support charity called Home-Start Leeds prior to beginning the masters course, and I currently support two families and will soon be supporting a third. Hopefully, with my results from my masters and the volunteering hours I have accrued, I hope to pursue family support as a full time career.