From Psychology foundation year to first class honours degree

“The campus, the staff, the quality of course, I really wasn't going to go anywhere else!”

Toni Litherland, BSc (Hons) Psychology and Counselling

Deciding to go to university can be daunting, but mum of two Toni didn't let anything stand in her way.

Born and bred Staffordshire girl Toni Litherland, 33, Biddulph, says that she was transformed into a “whole new person” whilst studying Psychology and Counselling at Staffordshire University.

She said: “I was at a turning point in my life. I'd not long had two children and I'd been made redundant from my job. I thought if I don't go and do a degree, I never will.”

“The campus, the staff, the quality of course, I really wasn't going to go anywhere else!”

Determined to prove her capabilities, Toni began studying a foundation year in psychology four years ago and then moved onto BSc (Hons) Psychology and Counselling.

Raising children and juggling university work is no easy feat but the journey through university was worth every second for Toni.

“If you've got that determination nothing should stand in your way and that's the driving force behind everything.

“My daughter is nine going on 30. She will ask what work I have and what grade I got. She likes to keep me focused. Her younger brother has disabilities so his support is more subtle, it usually comes in the form of cuddles right when I need them.

“They have both been great and I am proud to have done it with them by my side. We have become closer as a family just by me being at university.”

Toni went on to achieve a first class honours degree and the example that she set for her children has ignited her daughter’s own ambitions.

“The one thing that got us through it all was being at graduation today that's what I kept reminding myself about and saying to the kids.”

“My daughter wants to be a doctor and I hope today will spark that enthusiasm to drive her forward with her dreams.”

With the world at her feet Toni is enjoying her success whilst she plans her next move.

“What's next for me? That's the million dollar question! I really want to stay at Staffs.

“The reason why I don't know is because the course that I have done has allowed for so many options and doors to be opened.”

From 17 August, prospective students can contact Staffordshire University for an offer on Snapchat, Facebook or Twitter. Until then, our Clearing Ambassadors will be manning social media platforms, offering live Q and As. Visitors to our dedicated Clearing webpages can find further help and advice and experience virtual tours of the University campus.

Find out more at or call our Clearing hotline on 0800 590 830.