- Course studied:
- Forensic Science
- Year of graduation:
Teaching Down Under
Daniel Ward’s most memorable moment at Staffordshire was watching a real post-mortem, but his career since graduating has placed him firmly among the living.
The 32-year-old, who graduated with a first class honours degree in Forensic Science in 2012, is now working as a teacher on the Sunshine Coast in Australia.
“Staffordshire provided me with a fantastic degree, something that I never thought possible at the time,” he says. “It has opened many paths for me, and I know that if I do not stay in teaching, I have a degree that will help me in all aspects of science professions, among others.”
After leaving university, Daniel worked as a lab technician at an environmental science company, extracting substances from water samples. But he soon realised that this wasn’t the career for him, and decided to retrain as a teacher.
He studied his PGCE in chemistry at the University of Worcester and secured a position at the school where he had spent his placement – before deciding to pursue a long-term ambition.
“While working there, I started an application to fulfil a lifelong dream to move to Australia,” he says. “My wife and I were granted visas in April 2014. I applied for jobs in schools on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, and was successful in finding a position at Meridan State College.
“I finished my year at my school in England in July and set off for Australia with my wife. We arrived in Australia in September 2014 and I began my new job straight away. It has been a fast paced introduction to a new country, but we love it here and the lifestyle change is phenomenal.”
Within a few weeks of being at the school, he was offered a position as a community leader for the upcoming year starting January 2015.
He accepted and now looks after four classes from year 7 to year 9, as well as teaching maths and science at the school. He also supports other teachers and pupils, and deals with behaviour management of those pupils who are more difficult. “It’s been challenging so far, but very enjoyable and I love it,” he says.
Daniel chose to study forensic science at Staffordshire after discovering a passion for science. Forensic science was becoming popular at the time, and after researching potential career paths, Daniel felt it was the course for him.
“I chose Staffordshire University because of the reputation it had in the forensic science field,” he says. “It was one of the first universities to offer it and there was a crime scene house, which was very rare at the time.
“I visited the uni and it had a great vibe. The reputation of the subject and the facilities in science made my mind up.”
Daniel, who won awards for achievement in all three years of his course, says his future ambitions are simply “to enjoy what I do and be happy”. And thanks to his time at Staffordshire, he feels able to tackle whatever life may throw at him.
“It made me a more focussed person and someone who had to become organised in order to succeed,” he says. “It helped me to learn to cope with stress and challenges that normally I would have avoided, just for an easy life. It helped me to realise that I was capable of anything that I put my mind to, and therefore showed me a different side of myself.”