Charley Todd

After teaching herself A-level Biology and Chemistry to earn a place on Worcester’s Biomedical Science course, mother-of-three Charley Todd has now been inspired to take her studies further.

Charley Todd

Charley, who returned to education from a career in project management, achieved First Class Honours in her degree. She is now doing a Bioscience PhD and is pleased to be celebrating her success.

“It’s a relief to have graduated! It has been a difficult four years due to external factors such as Covid-19,” she said.

On her journey into higher education, Charley told how she overcame challenges along the way. She said: “I went back to education after having my two youngest children and feeling my career in project management was stuck in a rut. I felt that I had untapped academic ability and wanted to see what I was capable of achieving. I taught myself A-level Biology and Chemistry to get on to the course because an access course wasn’t an option for me.”

The 42-year-old praised her time at the University. “I am so glad that I studied there,” said Charley. “The Biology department at the University of Worcester does a fantastic job of supporting students with a range of abilities and post-graduate aspirations. My personal academic tutor was fantastic throughout, but particularly helpful in discussing my options during the lockdown periods when I had to decide how best to balance my degree with homeschooling two children. I was also really lucky to have the opportunity to participate in a molecular biology summer project, which improved my lab skills and gave me the confidence to apply for a PhD.”

Charley’s time at the University was littered with academic success, with a University of Worcester Academic Scholarship in both her first and second year for high grades. She also won the Oxford University Press Prize in Bioscience 2019 – awarded to the University’s first year bioscience student with the best overall grade profile. In her final year, she earned the University’s Witcombe prize 2022 for the best lab or field-based dissertation.

Charley, of Priors Park, Tewkesbury, also enjoyed representing her course to prospective students on University Open Days. She added: “This experience, and working with other students who came to higher education via an access course, has shown me how important it is for Worcester to give mature students without traditional qualifications the opportunity to enter higher education,”

The former Tewkesbury School pupil is doing a 4-year funded PhD as part of the University of Nottingham BBSRC Doctoral Training Program

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