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Mothers Day 2023 – Bath Spa University

Celebrating multigenerational student successes


Bath Spa celebrates multigenerational student successes on Mother's Day.

Friday, 17 March, 2023

Bath Spa University has a strong tradition of multi generations studying with us. So, in honour of Mother's Day this Sunday, and all the mothers and their children who have passed through our doors over the years, we meet three such families to hear their Bath Spa stories.

Olivia and Lu

Mum Olivia studied the MA Writing for Young People and graduated from Bath Spa in 2012. Daughter Lu graduated in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing. She then went on to also study the MA Writing For Young People in 2021, graduating almost a decade after her mum.

Olivia is an author of award-winning novels such as Deep Water and Broken Ground. She's also a regular volunteer for Searchlight's Story Competitions and the Bristol Short Story Prize.

Reflecting on her time at Bath Spa, Olivia said:

"Studying again after years of work was such a joy! The MA Writing for Young People introduced me to an amazing group of writers and a really supportive writing community. I made some friends for life and got a publishing deal thanks to taking the course, which makes it one of the best decisions I've ever made."

A mother and her two daughters sit in a garden. They all hold up a copy of a book called broken ground.Talent runs in the family as Lu is also an award-winning author and has written the book Not With a Bang, which is soon to be published. Lu also works as a Student Administrator for the University of Bristol.

When asked why she chose to study at Bath Spa, Lu said:

"My sister Sophie (pictured above) doing her BA (Hons) in Creative Writing definitely led me to do it too, as writing was, and still is, the only thing I enjoyed. I hadn't thought of it as an option before that.

"My mum doing the MA Writing for Young People was the main reason I decided to do it,  because she talked so highly of it. I hadn't really considered writing for young people before my mum did, but now I don't think I could really write for adults, because I am a giant child. I built such a wonderful family of writers during my time on the course and I definitely would never have been able to write a book without them.”

Andrea and Becky

A mother and daughter stand in front of Bath Abbey. They are both in black and blue graduation robes.Mum Andrea graduated in 2022 with an MA in History. Daughter Becky also graduated in 2022 with a BA (Hons) in History and an MA in History. Becky is currently studying for her PGCE in Secondary History.

Andrea studied during the pandemic and said:

“My time studying at Bath Spa was certainly interesting and the range of history we covered was excellent. Even though half of my MA was delivered online due to the first lockdown I really enjoyed my time at Bath Spa. Being able to study history in such an inspiring city as Bath was great especially as my Dissertation was on Regency Bath.”

She adds:

“As a mature student I was hesitant about how I would fit in but this was not a problem. I was made to feel very welcome. Even though all of the other students had completed their BA at Bath Spa and knew each other, I had completed a BA in History, Heritage and Archaeology at Strode College through Plymouth University. This didn't prove a problem and I immediately felt part of the group. The staff on the course were also very supportive and were always available if you needed help or advice."

Becky was already studying at Bath Spa, which was what inspired Andrea to choose the University.

“I decided to go to Bath Spa as Becky was already a student there. She was the one who found out that there was going to be a MA History degree course starting in the September after I had completed my BA. It was ideal as commuting the hour from our home to Bath was very easy, which made it a good choice for me.”

Andrea is currently considering doing a PhD next.

Becky is currently studying PGCE Secondary History with Bath Spa and is in her second placement. When asked about her time studying at Bath Spa, Becky said:

“My time at Bath Spa University has been, and continues to be, some of my life's most exciting and challenging years. I've always liked how all the staff are incredibly supportive, encouraging students to think deeper and more creatively when approaching research.

"However, some of my favourite memories of Bath Spa include sitting in the Students' Union with friends and enjoying a plate of crispy hash browns between lectures. Those moments made my time at University special, with most of those friendships lasting from our induction day six years ago till the present.”

And how was it having mum on campus too?

“Those days were even better once my mum decided to undertake the MA History, with meeting up and discussing research over coffee becoming one of our favourite pastimes. I can say that whilst my mum did not influence my decision to study at Bath Spa initially, her experience on the MA History course definitely influenced my decision to join the course the year after her.”

Jude and NaomiA mother and two children stand smiling in front of a large stone building.

Mum Jude studied her BA Combined Studies English and History in 1992. Daughter Naomi studied her MBA Leadership in 2021.

Now retired, Jude, having graduated over 30 years ago, has fond memories of her time studying at Bath Spa.

Looking back on her time as a student, she says:

“I had a fantastic time. There was a bunch of 30 something mature students, all women. It was just so engaging.

"One of my most memorable experiences was the day I got poetry! We had a poetry seminar and I thought I'd better prepare. I remember it being a really cold day but I decided to sit down by the lake and began to read Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. When I finished reading it, it changed something in me, and I realised that I "got" poetry!

"I got a much deeper response to reading poetry than I'd ever had before reading prose. I was entranced by the beauty, it was almost spiritual.” 

And did Jude make friends for life?

“I'm still in touch with all those women I studied with now. It was a very important and life changing experience.”

Naomi is the Advancement and Civic Engagement Manager at Bath Spa University.

When asked why she chose to study at Bath Spa, Naomi told us:

“I work at Bath Spa and was fortunate to be offered the chance to undertake an MBA Leadership, which I jumped at. It's so important to keep learning and to take on new challenges whenever they are offered. This is something we say to our students so we also lead by example.

"I knew my Mum had a wonderful time during her degree at Bath Spa, which was in part why I wanted to work here. I never imagined I would end up studying and becoming a part of our wonderful community, both as an employee and an alum!”

On behalf of Bath Spa University, we hope all the mothers out there have a wonderful Mother's Day.

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