Jasmine Barton, 29 from Biddulph, applied to study BSc (Hons) Biological Science through Clearing after deciding to pursue her passion for nature and sustainability.
“Before coming to Staffs I was doing beauty therapy and make-up artistry, so it was a whole career change going into biological science.” She explained.
“It was a little bit terrifying because it was a big jump, I’d been out of education for a while. I wasn’t sure if I was good enough really and that I was clever enough but I feel like I’ve proved myself.”
During the degree, Jasmine chose to specialise in Ecology and Environmental Management and was a key player in the Wild Staffs project, working tirelessly to create and maintain a wildlife and wellbeing garden on the campus. She also volunteers more widely in the community to make a difference to the local environment.
She said: “I think we’re really lucky with the land that we’ve got here and the facilities. We’ve done so much while here because we’ve got a lovely nature reserve, so we did a lot of the practical skills that we need to do ecology and become an ecologist.”
“We did a lot of tree planting and hedgerow planting to increase the connectivity between habitats so that’s been really fulfilling personally.”
Jasmine and course mates also had the opportunity to go on a three-week conservation trip to Vietnam, funded by the Turing Scheme, to learn about the impact of climate change and pollution on the country and how it is being managed.
She said: “I think going to Vietnam changed my whole outlook on life really. It made me realise how lucky we are with simple things like water and waste management and all the environmental things that we take for granted that now I don’t.
“It was amazing to have that opportunity. I don’t think we’ll ever get that opportunity again.”
Staffordshire University’s Biosciences courses were ranked no.1 for Teaching Satisfaction and no.2 for Course Satisfaction in the Guardian League Tables 2022 – something which Jasmine has experienced first-hand.
“The lecturers have been fantastic and very supportive. My tutor and my course leader and the grounds maintenance team who we’ve been working on the nature reserve with have all been very helpful in teaching us the skills that we need for our careers.
“I don’t think I could have done it without the lecturers' support, they’ve been the backbone of our course and very important.”
After graduating with a first-class degree, Jasmine hopes to do a Masters in applied research, focussing on landscape conservation, with the ambition of becoming a countryside ranger.
She added: “I’m shocked I’m here and very, very proud. It’s a big step and a scary step but it’s so worth it!”
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