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Patricia Nicholl – Doctorate in Childhood Studies at Queen’s Belfast

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Patricia Nicholl – Doctorate in Childhood Studies at Queen’s Belfast


(smooth music) Hi, my name is Patricia Nicholl. I am currently studying for the DChild, Doctorate in Childhood Studies in Queen’s University. And I’ve been a social worker in predominantly family and children’s services for well over 30 years now. And I chose this programme by and large because I’ve been thinking about doing my PhD for some time, and I thought about doing it maybe post-retirement. But the idea of the taught, modular based, supported programme, gave me an opportunity to be able to take on the studies while still working. And feeling that I could be supported in doing so because I was afforded that structure through the taught, modular based assignments. Having undertaken the course, I’ve really been afforded a tremendous opportunity to refine my skills of critical thinking, undertaking sort of research literature searches. I’ve always had an interest in academic research, but I’ve never really had the opportunity to take the time out. And particularly to take the time out to devote yourself to an area of research in an area of your own personal interest. Coming to Queen’s to the DChild programme has really been great because there’s a tremendous level of support available, a tremendous level of information, and detailed online resources which actually enable you to read into the subject matter around the taught assignments, the taught modules, rather, for purposes of the assignments, in more depth. Advice for anyone who’s thinking about undertaking the Doctorate in Childhood Studies, would really be to give it some early thought, into your subject of choice, your area of research focus. And I really cannot stress how important it is to think about that, and to plan that early on, because it actually does make the modular based taught programme much, much easier because you’re able to make sense of those modules around your overarching theme of research. And to tailor some of your assignments in such a way that they actually assist you, or I’m hoping will assist me, when it comes to the full-time research aspect of the course. (smooth music)

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