Catriona Marwick

BA Professional Education (Primary) with a specialism in Modern Languages


What attracted you to study at the University of Stirling?

It had been my dream since I was young to become a primary teacher but also had a passion for languages and enjoyed them throughout my school. Finding out about the course at Stirling was the best of both worlds for me. In terms of the university itself, I remember going to the first open day and the university felt like a place I could call home as I walked around the scenic surroundings.

What did you enjoy most about your time at University of Stirling?

Being at Stirling felt like being part of a community, whether that was in lectures or seminars or in the student housing on campus. As our primary student intake was lower than other universities, this meant that you built a closer relationship with the others on your course. It also meant that tutors knew you as a person and were able to fully support you along your journey.

Which aspects of the programme did you enjoy the most?

The primary programme covered a range of topics to prepare you for placement. Your time out in schools was where ‘it all clicked into place’ and you could put into practice the skills and approaches you had learned. It was also beneficial that we got to spend one day a week in a high school as part of our training to gain more of an idea about transition and inclusion. In addition, it was interesting sharing some classes with secondary students to share different viewpoints and approaches. Likewise, as part of our specialism, you were taking classes with non-education students which meant you were able to meet lots of new people.

Do you think the degree has made you more employable, or better prepared for further study? If yes, what are the key skills?

Having the specialism in modern languages has definitely helped me stand out as a teacher, particularly as the new 1+2 Languages initiative has come into place across Scotland. Having this knowledge and experience from university means that schools do not have to retrain you. Thanks to my specialism, I have been lucky enough to work as the 1+2 Coordinator for my school.

What advice would you give a student considering studying at Stirling?

Definitely go to the open day and get a proper feel for the place – it won’t let you down!

How would you summarise your time at Stirling?

I felt valued as a student at the University and both challenged and supported. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the knowledge and skills that was shared with us.

If you have now graduated, what are you doing now?

I am coming to the end of my second year at Scottish Borders council. I have taught both P6 and P7 and currently have my own PGDE student which is quite a surreal experience.

Would you recommend this career/further study to others?

Yes. Every day is unlike no other. Over the past two years I have had both the best and most challenging days of my career. It is like being on a rollercoaster with all the ups and downs but one that is so rewarding that you never want to come off.