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Billy Reynard-Bowness Arden University staff

Name: Billy Reynard-Bowness
Subject: BA (Hons) Psychology & Sociology 

Despite my past ‘disappointments’ academically, I now work as a biochemist in a laboratory and am studying towards a psychology and sociology degree.

After dropping out of A-levels, Billy went on to have a successful career as a criminal defence legal executive, before changing careers and choosing to go into biochemistry. He is now studying BA (Hons) Psychology and Sociology with Arden University. 

I started studying English A-levels at 18, but the classroom style of teaching was too reminiscent of school and I got bored very quickly. I dropped out and went back a couple of years later to try and complete A-level Law, but my heart wasn’t in it at the time and I ended up not getting the grades I was hoping for. 

After this, I managed to get a temporary job for the Crown Prospection Service (CPS) as an administration officer. Here, I learnt the basics of the systems, terminology and procedures which led on to an offer from a firm of defence solicitors. It wasn’t until I got this job where I began studying again, and I ended up passing my legal exams to become an accredited police station representative. 

All this work then led on to representing accused persons being interviewed at the police station and preparing them for their court proceedings, as well as briefing in barristers who were representing my clients. I really enjoyed helping people and the job was varied and rewarding. 

After a few years of doing this, I decided I wanted to go travelling. I ended up visiting a few places such as Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia and had the time of my life. My travels sadly came to an end when I visited Thailand, though, when I was attending a party and kidnapped by some locals. Thankfully I was tracked down and I managed to get a flight back through the British Embassy. I was more than happy to leave travelling behind at this point and looked forward to getting back to work.  

When I was back in the UK, I managed to get a few hours at my local supermarket replenishing shelves. I noticed that a part-time role was being advertised for a ‘post room operative’, which I could fit around my hours in the supermarket. The role turned out to actually be working in a laboratory, and after a bit more studying I ended up progressing to my current role of biochemistry EQA manager, which I’m working as today. In this role, certain skills such as attention to detail, and working with analytical data is incredibly important. 

What made you want to start studying the BA (Hons) Psychology & Sociology?

After experiencing some personal struggles with depression and anxiety, I became deeply interested in psychology and wanted to learn more about how the brain works. I started googling online distance learning degrees and found Arden University was offering a degree in psychology and sociology. With my background in legal studies and general interest around how society influences crime, this felt like the perfect course for me. 

As I had a lot of work experience under my belt and had demonstrated from previous studying that I had the determination, Arden were happy to accept me on to the course. 

I’ve found the course fascinating so far, and I’m keen to continue my personal developments with the possibility of a Master’s and volunteering within the Mental Health Charity sector. 

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