Gaining a degree in Health Studies is opening the doors to a range of postgraduate courses for students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Students credit the broad nature of the undergraduate degree with giving them a host of options for the future - and are choosing to stay on for a master's to specialise in their area of interest and boost their employability.
Darcie Russell, who has just started her MSc, said: "I have chosen to study Psychological Wellbeing because I feel I have potential and I want to achieve a master's to prove to myself I can do it.
"I also believe it will open up career prospects and give me another chance to get involved with university life."
The 21-year-old from Peterborough found DMU through Clearing, having always had an interest in healthcare but not quite making the grades needed to study nursing.
"I liked the idea of working with people and improving the quality of their life. I believed this was a course that could open many doors," she said.
Darcie's favourite feature was her dissertation on the theme 'what impact does caring have upon caregivers of people with dementia?' - a subject close to her heart.
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Sadly her Nan, who suffered from dementia, passed away during the process. "This did set me back," she said. "However, I received a First for my dissertation and a commendation award as well."
Achieving a 2:1, Darcie qualified for the VC's 2020 Scholarship - which influenced her decision to stay at DMU, as it did 2016 graduate Beth Durham.
"With the VC's 2020 Scholarship making a master's half-price, I thought it would be silly not to," said Beth from Rugby.
But the 23-year-old went for a change of direction - an International Business and Management MSc.
She said: "I did A-level business and enjoyed that and I was 50/50 when it came to my undergraduate degree. What won me over was the smaller class sizes for Health Studies and I liked the modules."
Beth also felt the course - recently renamed Health and Wellbeing in Society to reflect the latest developments in the sector - "gave loads of options for the future".
"I really enjoyed it and got lots of support," she said.
"Although I could have done something similar for my master's I thought I'd do different."
At first, she wasn't sure she'd made the right decision.
"I went to an accountancy lecture, not having done maths since GCSE, and it was the worst day of my life," said Beth.
"I emailed my lecturer and he went back through everything with me and I felt a lot more confident.
"Then I started to get the hang of it and I've really enjoyed it since."
For her dissertation, she tied her degrees together, researching mental health support at universities.
Senior Lecturer Jenny Sanders added: "Health Studies equips students with the skills and knowledge to explore and address health issues from a number of perspectives."
Posted on Friday 6th October 2017