I chose to return to college in 2012 with an interest in building on my undergraduate studies and experiences in Early Childhood Care and Education. I decided to engage in the M.A. in Child, Family and Community Studies in DIT on a part-time basis. This allowed me to continue with my full-time employment and attend lectures two evenings a week.
The course content is broad in scope and provided me with an opportunity to explore a wide array of social issues across the human lifespan and extend my knowledge in these areas. The core subjects and elective modules were extremely relatable to my work with children, families and the wider community. In the final year the programme provides the flexibility for students to explore an area of particular interest further. I found that completing the dissertation helped me to refine my research skills and carry out a meaningful piece of research, which I really enjoyed. I found the lecturers in DIT were experienced and knowledgeable in their fields. They offered support and guidance and encouraged critical thinking in researching and exploring areas of study.
The course offered opportunities for peer learning and information sharing. This was due to the varied professional backgrounds of the students who shared their insights and experiences and provided a range of different perspectives on topics to help broaden my understanding and knowledge in these areas.
Balancing full time employment and studies does require commitment and dedication. However, I am delighted to have taken part in and completed the programme and feel it is both a professional and personal achievement. I found the course an extremely rewarding experience. Completing the programme gave me greater confidence in my role. I feel that it has helped increase opportunities for me in terms of professional development and career progression.