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Nikkie Ellis


United Kingdom
My inspiration for choosing the subject was my children who are disabled. I have been a carer for them for a considerably long time and wanted to utilise the skills and knowledge I had learned to help others.

More about Nikkie

Why NTU?

What inspired you to study your subject?

"My inspiration for choosing the subject was my children who are disabled. I have been a carer for them for a considerably long time and wanted to utilise the skills and knowledge I had learned to help others, so I looked into doing a Level 3 Health and Social Care course which I passed with distinctions.

This then gave me the opportunity to apply for university. I picked health and social care as I wanted to better understand the needs of others that I would potentially be caring for."

Why did you choose your course and NTU?

"I have children with a disability, so I chose a course that I had some knowledge of that would benefit me within my chosen career path. The Health and Social Care course was a course that I see as being the best in moving forward with the knowledge and understanding that I wanted to have around what health and social care actually meant and how it is accurately applied within the health and social care sector. Like many others, I did my research on Nottingham Trent University before applying and established that it had my best interests at heart and would give me the opportunities that I needed to fulfil my career."

What’s your experience been like of your course so far?

"So far my experiences of the course have been extremely positive. The level of knowledge that the lecturers have is overwhelming at times, however, they are completely supportive of everything that they do and the environment is so inclusive that you gain a broader understanding of the subject and points of view from others. One of the highlights for me is most definitely the positivity and energy that I received from the support network, Step Up. I accessed this support network as I do have a form of learning disability and the information that they gave me actively supported me through my course and has given me the opportunities to gain access to other services that now fully facilitate me through my course.

My other highlight was taking part in an engaging vulnerable groups course which helped me open my eyes to the wider concept of what vulnerable means - looking past the negativity to see the person and how I can support them."

Have you been involved in any projects or extra-curricular activities that have supplemented your studies run through NTU?

"In year one I was a course Rep for health and social care I took this opportunity to work on my communication skills and get to know others within the course. It was an extremely rewarding process that has opened many doors for me and allowed me to work with several different lecturers and departments within the university.

In year two I took on the role of school of office so that I could get a broader understanding of both sides of a point of view when it comes to teaching. This role itself has given me more of an understanding of how much work goes into being a lecturer. At the same time, it has also allowed me to work with students to get their understanding of the work that needs to be done, to put across any of their points of view that they feel could make the course better and to actively support them within the course."

What does Social Sciences mean to you?

"Social science for me means people coming together from all different forms and walks of life to achieve the same goal of broadening their horizons and working on their knowledge to obtain their chosen career path with support from everyone around them."

On Placement

Have you completed any work placements on your course?

"I took the opportunity to do a work placement at Nottingham Trent University teaching a social policies class. This was an extremely rewarding process that gave me a multitude of skills that I could then take forward. The main skill for me was learning to be more confident when talking to others within a group and to know that the knowledge that I was putting across to them was received and acknowledged. I received quite a lot of support from my mentor, we worked together on my computer skills so that I was able to put a PowerPoint presentation together that was then presented in the lecture."

Do you have any memorable moments from your placement?

"My most memorable moment was being in class and how welcoming and warm the other students were towards me when I was very nervous when I was teaching. This gave me a sense of belonging and helped me overcome my fear of talking in front of others."


What do you think of the support available from tutors and staff at NTU?

"The support from staff goes above and beyond what I'd ever imagined would be available. They are very quick to answer any emails or messages that are placed on the discussion board. They actively seek to make sure that you are OK, if they can not support you they signpost you to the appropriate support groups."

Outside of the Lecture Theatre

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

"At times it can be challenging to make friends, especially as a mature student. That also puts you at an advantage, as you have communication skills and I learned that just listening to other people and being supportive of others allowed me to strike up friendships with everyone who was on the course. I feel as though I settled in extremely well as it was somewhere that I wanted to be and was ready and willing to learn."

The Next Steps

What’s next for you after NTU?

"After I have completed year three of health and social care I would like to go on to do a master's degree in management as my long-term career goal is to open a supportive living complex for people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions."

What’s next for you after NTU? How is NTU helping you to achieve your career goals?

"My career goals will be achieved as the support that I receive from Nottingham Trent University goes above and beyond my expectations. They have actively supplied me with all the tools and resources that I need to obtain the grades that I would like. This has been done through my anxiety mentor and my dyslexic support worker, as well as Step Up.

The support I received from staff who actively take the time to read my access statement, the library support staff, the student mentors...the list of support that is available just goes on. Without this support I don't think I would have been able to achieve my career goals so for that I commend Nottingham Trent University."


What top tips would you give anyone thinking about studying your course at NTU?

"Come with an open mind as the knowledge you will receive will most definitely broaden your horizon. Take that leap to actively take this course and understand that no matter your background or mental health condition or if you have a learning disability Nottingham Trent University will support you in every aspect that you need."

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418
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