Tasha Burnell

I am 30 years old, and originally from the West Midlands. I came to Wales when I studied for my degree in Political Communication at Swansea University in 2002, and ended up staying here, and I now live in the Rhondda valley. I decided I wanted a career change whilst on maternity leave with my second son; I had been working in retail management for nearly ten years and had become increasingly disillusioned and unmotivated. The job didn’t suit my lifestyle with two small children and I wanted to do something more meaningful.

After researching what I was interested in, and what was funded, I knew I needed to do an Access to Biological Sciences course in order to gain a place at university to study Speech and Language Therapy. My degree and A-levels were all humanities based, and did not meet the criteria needed for a health sciences degree. I was apprehensive about coming to college with people much younger than me, but it really has been irrelevant, I have made a great group of friends; we have supported and encouraged each other over the last year, and it has been a brilliant experience. 

I have loved being in a learning environment again, and I didn’t think I would enjoy science so much! The course has been really simple to manage as it is over 3 days, leaving plenty of family, work and socialising time, this also appealed to me as it meant lower childcare costs to consider. Also, as I applied late in the year I could only get a place at the Ystrad Mynach campus, which I thought would be awkward, but turned out really well as three of us lift share, which has reduced our travel costs, and it’s not as far as I initially thought.

I got offered a place at Cardiff Metropolitan University, and hopefully will start my degree in September. It is so exciting to begin a new career, and this time I know I am doing the right degree. I am so glad I took the leap to begin a new challenge, it’s not been easy, but it has definitely been worth it, and I would encourage anyone considering it to go for it.

Tasha Burnell


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