Name: Emma-Louise Smith
Subject: BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Name: Emma-Louise Smith
Subject: BA (Hons) Graphic Design

I have been able to study from home and from hospital which has been a blessing [and] I am relieved and happy to finally be on track with my dream career choice [...] I'd definitely encourage distance learning with Arden to anybody.

Taking up a flexible online degree in something she loves has been the perfect option for Emma-Louise, giving her the opportunity to study at home or in hospital, focusing her mind as she tackles cancer head-on.

‘I have wanted to do a degree in a creative subject for a long time and struggled with brick-based university due to anxiety. When I came across the distance Graphic Design degree I was surprised and happy as I’d never seen it as distance before and hoped that I would be able to get funding for it - it seemed to call to me.

‘The fact that it is distance means I can do my work from home and in hospital, wherever I am and I don’t miss out. Arden had clear information on the modules involved which I found very useful in making my decision. The woman who contacted me, Rebecca, was very helpful and encouraged me to try for funding despite being unsure if I would get it.

‘Having been off work for nine months due to cancer treatment I needed something to focus on and felt it was the right time to get started on the rest of my life, doing something I actually will get enjoyment and fulfilment out of. It should help me in the future as I plan to work for myself, but if I wanted to work for a company it will stand me in good ground for applying for jobs. It will also give me a good education in the subject, meaning I’m knowledgeable and can do the job well.

‘I was not sure for a while if it was a good idea as I had to have more treatment after a second diagnosis, but I decided I was fed up of everything feeling like it was being taken from me and I wanted to reclaim my identity. I only have one life and it could be cut short by a freak accident any day so why not spend the time in the way that I want to?

‘I have been able to study from home and from hospital which has been a blessing. I have taken the PDF lessons into hospital with me to read through and study. Distance learning is great for my anxiety as I sometimes have trouble with classrooms involving lots of people - I get panic attacks. The online learning environment is easy to use and navigate and doesn’t require special software.

‘My family are very proud that I’ve started a degree in something I want to do. The doctors and nurses that I’ve told have been impressed that I’ve decided to give myself something to focus on during my treatment and recovery. I am relieved and happy to finally be on track with my dream career choice. I was very proud that my first digital sketchbook had good feedback.

‘I’d definitely encourage distance learning with Arden to anybody. I have recommended my aunty to look at doing masters with Arden as it would fit around her life with a small child and a job. I have been pleased with the contact I have received and the prompt replies when I have had questions. If you are happy to do learning through self-motivation it is a really good way to study a degree.’

You can read more about the distance learning BA (Hons) Graphic Design course here.

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