Stent Profile: Penny Dawes

Penny Dawes Profile

Certificate in Psychology, Completed November 2007



After ten years as a nurse, Penny Dawes was ready to try something new but the thought of going back to study after such a long break was unnerving. She decided to ease herself into the routine of studying and assignments by doing a Certificate in Psychology through ACS Distance Education.

"I haven't been in formal study for a long time so it was a challenge getting back into study mode and I found it difficult at first," she said.

"Doing it by distance education means you can do it at your own pace and it's flexible so that's been really good.

"I had some personal issues during the course and being able to leave it for a bit and then pick it up again was great. Also I have two teenaged kids so it's good to be able to fit the study around picking them up from school activities."

Ms Dawes said she was hoping the certificate would enable her to take her career in a whole new direction.

"In the UK I was a nurse but since I have been over here, I have worked in a youth information and referral service that deals with kids up to the age of 25 who are disengaged and have psychological or mental issues," she said.

"I thought doing a Certificate in Psychology would be a good start because it's the kind of qualification that you could apply to anything. I would like to be able to start my own business and I have done some industrial psychology so it will be good for that.

"I am actually thinking about doing a university degree now. It has been useful to do this course to get me back into the routine of doing assignments and reading and studying and give me the confidence to go onto the next thing."

Ms Dawes said she had also found the course content enlightening on more than just an academic level.

"I did really enjoy the course content, it's really interesting," she said.

"And in a lot of cases I was using previous experience to base my assignments on so I did a lot of self discovery as well - scary stuff!"