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Degree: FdSc Exercise, Health and Fitness
Career: Aspiring Exercise Physiologist

Fitness enthusiast and current Healthcare Assistant, Dannielle, originally had plans to pursue a nursing career, however, after a serious illness in 2016, this led to her rediscovering her love of fitness.

Hoping to pursue a career that would allow her to help others, Dannielle began exploring options that would combine this aspiration with her passion for sport, which is when she discovered the FdSc Exercise, Health and Fitness at University Centre St Helens.

After applying to study the degree, Dannielle was unsure whether she met the entry criteria due to not having completed her A levels, however, she was delighted to learn that her extensive work experience and related skills from the workplace, were sufficient for entry on to the two-year programme.

Crediting the format of the timetable with allowing her to balance full-time study, with caring for her family and employment commitments at Whiston Hospital, Dannielle said, "I joined the degree in September 2018, and I experienced so much, such as meeting a group of people who are like minded and share the same passion, completing presentations and assignments that I previously never imagined I'd be able to do, along with gaining more confidence and self-belief."

She added, "The support that I received from the lecturing team was amazing. I had moments where I thought that it was too much for me, but the lecturers stepped in, offered me extra support, and encouraged me to keep going. This enabled me to push through and complete my Foundation Degree, achieving a Distinction. I am now at University of Chester studying my top-up year to which I will hopefully progress on to complete my Masters in Cardiac Rehabilitation in September."

Due to studying in smaller class sizes, Dannielle believes this facilitates "incredible levels of student support", which she feels that she "would not have received studying at a much larger university, simply because the lecturers have so many students to deal with. I required tailored support when I began my journey, especially as I had returned to education after a long break. University Centre St Helens was certainly the right choice for me. I am so proud of what I have achieved, and I give huge credit to my lecturers."

Dannielle hopes to have a successful career in exercise physiology, specialising in cardiac rehabilitation.