Education studies and teaching news at Brighton

students sharing their dissertation top tips

Final year students share their university top tips at conference

Students from all years of our Early Childhood Education and Care BA(Hons) degree were united at their end of year conference.

The annual conference enables final year students to share their ‘pearls of wisdom’ and includes sessions focussing on employability and round table discussions.

Lesle, Andy and Jodi presenting to students

Left to right: Lesle, Andy and Jodi

The conference was opened by Course Leader Dr Lesleann Whiteman, Principal Lecturer Jodi Roffey-Barentsen and Associate Dean Andy Davies.

Lesle and Jodi shared some of their highlights of the year from the forest school visit to the behaviourist basket – literally a basket of gifts to emphasise the Behaviourist ideology of ‘reward’ for completing a given task.

Andy said to the students: “More than 330,000 work in the early years sector in 40,000 settings across the country. The early years sector is vital and you will be making a huge difference in life.”

He also chatted through his favourite quote by John Dewey “Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself” to stress the importance of the career path students have chosen.

Final year students shared their degree journey and shared their top tips:

Study tips

  • Fully participate in module study – do all the reading and take lots of notes
  • Work as a team and build a community with students on your degree – help and support each other
  • Make sure you seek help if you need it – speak to your course leader or SSGT
  • If you’re studying and working leave some time for ‘you’
Final year students with course leader Lesle

The final year students with course leader Lesle


  • Your placement is a vital part of your course – choose wisely and prepare
  • Your placement can also inspire your dissertation topic and provide valuable contacts for background research.

Your dissertation

  • Listen to the advice from your tutor when choosing your dissertation topic and be prepared to change it
  • Spend the summer before your final year thinking about topics – don’t leave it to the last minute
  • Make a schedule and prioritise

And perhaps most importantly: have faith in yourself!

Steven Sutcliffe, Career Development Adviser at the university gave an informative presentation about the student’s options when they graduate as well as identifying skills and CV writing.

We were also delighted to welcome back three Early Childhood Education and Care BA(Hons) graduates who presented at the round table discussions:

  • Celine Woodthorpe giving her presentation

    Celine giving her presentation

    Megan Jooshandeh who graduated in 2022. Megan teaches the TLevel early childhood courses at Bexhill College and is currently a masters student with plans to return to us to complete a PGCE.

  • Celine Woodthorpe also graduated in 2022. Celine is the Oral Health Coordinator and Trainer at East Sussex County Council.
  • Josephine Anane-Asante who gradated in 2023. Josephine continued her studies at Brighton at graduation and is completing a PGCE.

Lesle said: “Having graduates back to inspire current students is invaluable. It helps to highlight the diverse career paths the degree can lead to and affirm that the specialist knowledge they gain during their degree will be put to good use.

“And of course is was great to see them again!”

Learn more about studying education at the University of Brighton. 

Kerry Burnett • May 20, 2024

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