From A Levels to a Master’s Degree in English Literature

June 5, 2018

‘As cheesy as it sounds, HSDC shaped my life!’ These are the words of A Level alumna Jess Jordan who confesses she wouldn’t be where she is today if it wasn’t for the help of Havant & South Downs College.

Jess studied English Literature, Business Studies and Photography at the College from 2012 to 2014, and is now completing a Master’s Degree in English Literature at Swansea University.

But it wasn’t a straightforward journey, as Jess speaks about how she had ‘no idea’ of the path she wanted to take, and most likely still wouldn’t if it hadn’t been for the HSDC lecturers.

She said: “If it weren’t for the lecturers at HSDC I have no idea what I would be doing right now, but it certainly wouldn’t be pursuing a postgraduate Master’s Degree.

“I applied to HSDC with the intention of following a career into photography and had no intentions at all of studying at university. I opted for A Levels in Photography and Business Studies and my third option was actually going to be Textiles despite the fact I can’t even sew!”

But with the help of the HSDC staff, Jess was guided onto the courses that were the perfect fit for her.

She continued: “At my interview I had a detailed conversation with one of the HSDC lecturers and he quickly made me realise English Literature was a far better choice for me. I switched courses last minute and from there English Literature became my favourite subject, even more so than Photography, and I really did love that too.

“The classes we had and the books we studied have become firm favourites of mine, and I actually used one in my undergraduate dissertation last year. Not only did HSDC remind me of my love for books, but after working on an assignment in my second year, it also sparked a passion for feminism that has shaped not only my university work, but my overall outlook on life.”

After completing her A Levels with an A in English Literature, Jess was offered a place at Swansea University studying English Literature with Gender. She is now on her way to completing a Master’s Degree.

Jess said: “Without HSDC I never would have considered taking English Literature, and without the amazing lecturers I had I most definitely wouldn’t have considered studying it at university especially not to postgraduate level.”

Aside from studying English Literature, Jess said one of her favourite highlights was the people she met along the way.

She said: “HSDC was also all about the friends I made there; all those afternoons in the Studio Cafe or sat on the grass outside with them. I never would have met those people if not for HSDC.”

And advice for future students? Jess says, ‘be open to advice and new options – you never know where you might end up’.

To find out more about our A Level Centre of Excellence opening in September 2018, click here.