Access to HE studies leads to Cambridge University offer

March 3, 2022

Tathiane Teixiera Marsden moved to the UK from Brazil 15 years ago and settled into life as a wife, mother, and self-employed personal coach. While she had her own successful business, she always felt there was a gap in her knowledge.

Tathy said: “I did a coaching course which I enjoyed, particularly the focus on the methods and techniques that could be applied when coaching your client, but I found there was little information on the theory and background behind it. This made me realise that there was an area of study that I was missing. I wanted to understand how, why, and when to use the knowledge that I had gained. I decided that with a greater insight I could really make things happen, I could make a difference to people.”

Tathiane started to explore options for further study that would fit with her family commitments. When Covid hit, Tathiane’s husband started working from home which meant there was more time available to focus on her education, and Tathiane started to think about higher level studies. Tathiane didn’t hesitate to return to learning and enrolled with Cambridge Regional College on an Access to Sociology course.

Tathiane added: “I have always had an interest in Psychology, but life kept getting in the way. I felt this was my chance. Cambridge Regional College was within a driveable distance from my home, and the course was delivered in the evening so it would not impact on my family life. I was amazed that I could learn Criminology, Psychology and Sociology all in one course. I discovered that I could apply for student finance, and it felt as though everything was coming together. Having completed high school in Brazil, I was concerned that I might not have the required entry qualifications but other than having to sit IELTS to demonstrate my understanding of English, I was good to go.”

Tathia began her studies, creating a study plan to allocate sufficient time to give herself the best chance of success.

Thathiane added: “I loved my time at college. The topic is so interesting that I became absorbed in it, and I discovered that I was capable of much more than I ever thought possible. I took on the course unsure of what might happen. When I was growing up, education wasn’t something that was available to me, and here I was starting again with English as a second language. I wasn’t thinking ahead to higher education, I just wanted to enhance my learning.

The Access course was enlightening, and the subjects complimented each other. The tutors, Iris and Debbie, helped me a lot. I got a lot of feedback, and this helped me to do better. The constructive feedback did sting initially but I soon realised that it was for my benefit. It was nice when I got a ‘well done’ but that was not going to make me grow. My writing has improved so much because of that feedback. I started the journey as one person and finished as a completely different person, not only changing personally, but also in my opinions of education for my daughter.

CRC was instrumental in my success. The tutors at CRC made me realise that achieving a Distinction in every unit is not something that happens to everyone. I was a grade A student. My confidence has grown, and I have become more curious. As the course went on, I began to realise that I could go even further with my education. Now that I have had a taste, I want to know how far I can go. The college had already sorted out my papers, so I was fully prepared for the next step.

“If you are thinking of returning to learning on an Access course, I recommend that you allocate a realistic amount of time to your studies, be prepared for how hard the course will be, read a lot, do your best, and take feedback as a means of development rather than criticism.”

Since completing her Access course, Tathiane has applied to Cambridge university and received an unconditional offer to study Psychology and Behavioural Sciences from Autumn 2022.