Kathryn Hughes - MA in Sport, Body & Society 

In 2008, as a single mum and with only one A Level qualification, Kathryn Hughes couldn’t have dreamed that one day she would become an MA university student.

After leaving high school in 2001 with an A Level in Dance, Kathryn went on to study a one year foundation course with a Cardiff-based dance school, and soon after, age 21, had her son, James.

Dreams of a career in dance had to take a backseat as she took a job in retail to make ends meet as single parent.

Four years later when James started full-time school, Kathryn decided to look into the possibility of re-starting her career in dance and applied as a mature student to the Cardiff School of Sports' BA (Hons) degree course in Dance.

Kathryn said: “I was lacking in confidence when I applied to the course as it had been a few years since I had studied anything. I also worried that my qualifications weren’t good enough and that I wasn’t ‘academic’ enough to study at degree level.”

Her fears were proved unfounded, as Kathryn was accepted on to the course and over three years flourished as one of the top students; graduating with first class honours degree in July 2011 and also winning the Programme Medal Award for Academic Achievement.

Kathryn is now studying for an MA in Sport, Body and Society at the Cardiff School of Sport, and hopes to go on to study for a PhD.

Speaking about her achievements, Kathryn said: “I’m passionate about dance and the undergraduate course at the Cardiff School of Sport opened up so many opportunities for me. We were given the chance to go through the process of starting our own dance company ‘Camau Traed’ - from funding applications to organising dance tours. I also got involved in the university’s widening access programme; working in community projects bringing dance to disabled children. That is something I would definitely like to do more of in the future.”

“I regained my confidence, and have also been awarded a scholarship to study for the MA. It just goes to show that anything is possible and you don’t always have to take the typical and traditional route to achieve at university. ”

Under the spotlight:

2001: Leaves Cantonian High School, Cardiff with one A Level in Dance
2001-2002: Studies a one year foundation course at Rubicon Dance
2011: Graduates from Cardiff Metropolitan University with a first class honours degree in Dance and awarded the Programme Medal Award for Academic Achievement.
2011: Begins to study for an MA in Sport Body and Society

Visit the Cardiff School of Sport website to find out more about the range of courses available.