Case Study

Elena Maria

BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care (Top-Up)


Elena Maria is a student at the University of Sunderland in London, studying for her BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care (Top-Up). She tells us how she decided to study in the UK after doing her first degree in Eastern Europe during communism.

I decided to challenge myself and move to the UK. I wanted to see if I could succeed in a very different academic system. 

Elena Maria is a student at the University of Sunderland in London, studying for her BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care (Top-Up).

She tells us how she decided to study in the UK after doing her first degree in Eastern Europe during communism.

“You could say that I’ve experienced two very different kinds of education system.

I grew up in Eastern Europe under a communist regime.

It was in those circumstances that I started studying nursing, eventually graduating and working as a registered nurse for 12 years.

In 2017, I decided to challenge myself and move to the UK. I wanted to see if I could succeed in a very different academic system.

That’s why I chose to study Health and Social Care, first at level 5 in a London college and then on to the University of Sunderland in London.

If I’m honest, I had doubts that a campus with such a good reputation would even want me as a student.   

I was so delighted when I got my offer, and here I am today!

My doubts came from being a mature student. It’s never an easy thing to go back into university in later life.

That’s especially true if your experience of higher education was so different from the one I’m in right now.

But with the help and guidance of the lecturers, I truly feel like anything is possible. My biggest dreams can become a reality.

I want to work in care, whether that’s for the NHS or in the private sector, I haven’t decided yet.

But wherever I end up, I know what I’ve been learning over the last year will help me reach that goal.

I first heard about the University through a friend who studied here.

They’d had such a good time, and told me all about how the classes work, how interesting and engaging they are and how great a place Canary Wharf was to study.

All of this made it a very easy decision for me to apply. It helped, as well, that the modules were exactly the kinds of things I was looking to learn.

If I’m honest though, it was the chance to do the dissertation that I’ve been looking forward to the most.

It’s an opportunity to choose a topic I’m interested in and really become an expert in it.

You learn so much doing the project. It starts with the basics like the definition of research and identifying the reason behind why you want to do it.

Then you go on to developing your ideas and working out how you can solve an existing problem through your studies.

Plus, you pick up really important theories like the four pillars of research (identifying the problem, reviewing the literature, defining the purpose of the work and collecting the data).

I strongly believe that my studies, along with the help of my lecturers are giving me the skills I need to get my dream job.” 

Want to follow in Elena’s footsteps? Take a look at our Nursing and Health courses now.

You can also register your interest or book a personal consultation to find out more.

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