Emma Walters, EdD graduate, on Bournemouth beach

“A few years prior to enrolling on the EdD, I had completed the MA in Creative and Media Education (also at Bournemouth University) so it didn’t feel like I was ever taking a risk by undertaking a doctorate there. I had every faith in the team at the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice and the support I would receive. I always felt listened to, supported and encouraged and I am deeply thankful to the CEMP team for that.

“My own cohort had a genuine sense of camaraderie. We often laughed through the more difficult times when we were struggling, and working as a cohort for the first two years highlighted the strengths and weaknesses we all carried. We were all very different people from diverse backgrounds and career pathways yet our shared mission and desire to do an EdD united us. I could not have anticipated developing such life-long friendships as a result.

“Back in 2013, I held the role of Course Leader in Media Production in a Further Education college and my children were five and eight years old at the time so the challenge for me centred on the question, ‘Do I have the courage, strength, time, discipline, energy, and determination to not only make it work, but make a success of it?’ The answer, quite simply, was, ‘Yes’, because I did. Managing the doctorate within my life schedule was possible because, apart from the two annual residentials, all other communication was home-based – online and via Skype.

“My doctoral research focused on transferable skills, specifically students’ ability to confidently articulate their transferable skills through practice. I produced, with my students, an employability model to facilitate this, which is now primed for redistribution and applicable to all levels of students across discipline fields.

“I was extremely proud to be the first student to complete the EdD programme and I feel more confident in my skills, abilities and strengths, looking forward to assuming greater control over my own career pathway.”