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Gemma Francis


Course studied: BA (Hons) Youth Studies

We now offer: BA (Hons) Youth Justice

United Kingdom
Employability has put on number of events during year 3 that has and will support me leading up to finishing my degree and support can still be offered after graduation which has been reassuring.

More about Gemma

Why NTU…

Why did you choose NTU and your course?

I have always lived in Nottingham and as a mum with a child settled in secondary education NTU was an ideal choice for me.  I chose Youth Studies as I developed an understanding in my employment of the societal pressures that young people face, but I wanted to understand them on a more sociological perspective.

Could you describe your experience of being an NTU student?

My NTU experience has not been what I expected.  I was aware I was coming onto the course with a wealth of knowledge, but I questioned my academic ability and if my personal circumstances were suited to higher education. I have been on a journey of progression that has challenged me academically but found that the knowledge and skills gained has supported my professional and personal development.  Being a black female, I was uncertain about the university environment, I had an idea of what I thought it would be like but it has been the complete opposite.  I have been made to feel welcome and an equal to my peers with an understanding of specific challenges I may face as a result of my ethnicity but equally empowered by it. I have built great relationships with other students on my course and we have provided support to one another through the degree.

How would you describe the support from your tutors, university staff and student services?

The module leaders all provide support in different ways, but I have felt they have been committed to ensuring I am doing well.  They all have knowledge of the modules being taught which has often enabled them to support me, even if it has not been specific to what they teach.  The lecturers come from a practice background which allows them to bring examples of working practice and context to what can be complex theories.  Module leaders are open to suggestions and most suggestions put forward have been taken on board which shows a commitment to us.  My personal tutor has also taught me which has enabled us to build a relationship academically and personally.  I have felt comfortable to talk about issues that I may be having and felt supported.  We have been encouraged to access support from the university and student support throughout the degree and this too has been helpful as most of the staff I have had contact with have some understanding of the course.

On Placement...

Have you completed any work placements on your course? If so, tell us about your experience – where did you go, what did you do, what skills have you gained and what have you enjoyed the most?

Due to Covid-19 I was only on placement for a few weeks.  It was an independent organisation which I sought after myself.

Do you have any advice for future students going on placement?

Try to go into a placement that you have an interest in, do your own research of the company/organisation and speak to the employability team who can always support you with these processes.

Outside of the Lecture Theatre…

What three words would you use to describe Nottingham?



Student friendly

Where is a good place to eat, drink or visit in the city?


Oscar and Rosies

Mollasses Cane

Miss Korea

Mowgli Street Food


The Frustrated Chef

Sans Patrie

Tipoo Turkish

Ginza Tenpanyaki

Did you find it easy to make friends and settle in at NTU?

Yes, it was a small cohort so it enabled me to get to know everyone, particularly with those who live in Nottingham which I believe will be friendships that will continue after NTU.

The Next Steps…

Has the employability team helped you plan for life beyond NTU?

Yes, employability has put on number of events during year 3 that has and will support me leading up to finishing my degree and support can still be offered after graduation which has been reassuring. Year 3 is a busy year and I haven’t always had the time to focus on employability but knowing they are there to support when things got a little quitter has been great.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of applying to NTU?

It has been the best decision I have made.  If you are willing to put in the commitment, you will do well.  Be self-assured, you will be surrounded by people that want you to do well.

What is one thing you wish you knew before starting at NTU?

I will be ok and that I will come away from this experience a better person than when I started.

I never thought on my first day that I would I am going to miss being a student, miss learning and miss being sounded by people that have so much knowledge and so happy to share it with students.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418
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