Student and visitor testimonials

Past and present students detail their experiences of studying with us.

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Creative Writing

Creative Writing (PgDip) 

Find out more about our PgDip in Creative Writing.

Dr David Halliwell

‌Although this programme is taught online, a student never feels alone; staff are supportive at all levels with both academic and administrative advice. There are also many opportunities, actively encouraged by staff, for interaction with fellow students especially in formal discussions and informal contacts in a virtual café situation which is enjoyed by participants.

The programme follows a well-structured syllabus which encourages discussion and informed argument around an encompassing variety of writing genres. There is a serious depth to work that is assigned and much to be gained in academic development from active involvement in background reading programmes and online tasks. The atmosphere generated throughout the modular structure is positive and further inspired by relaxed and friendly residential weekends.    

Antony Dunn, Visiting Writer

Antony Dunn‌It was a real pleasure to spend a weekend with Lizzi Linklater's group at the University of York. Particularly pleasing was the fact that, despite being members of an online course, the participants had clearly established a positive rapport with each other and with Lizzi. The quality of conversation and debate throughout the two days of workshops (both in and out of the seminar room) was very encouraging.

Participants were not afraid to challenge each other (and the tutors) but the approach was uniformly supportive, kind and encouraging - absolutely the right balance. Lizzi has clearly shaped the atmosphere of the group very successfully and it was clear that the two days spent in each other's company, and in the company of Lizzi, had been a very inspiring experience. All involved, even those taking part remotely, contributed enthusiastically to the conversations and created and shared compelling new pieces of writing. 

Helen Cross, Visiting Writer

Helen Cross‌It was a real pleasure to meet Lizzi and work with her students. Lizzi runs a high quality, challenging and supportive writing group. I thought the students showed a real enthusiasm for, and ability in, creative writing and produced some super stories and poems during my time with them. They bring to the group a wide range of experiences and enthusiasms all of which helps to create a fertile atmosphere for creative experimentation and achievement. I'll look forward to hearing of their successes in the future.

The Geology of Northern England

The Geology of Northern England (PgDip)

Find out more about our PgDip in The Geology of Northern England.

David Wharton-Street

The Geology of Northern England is both fascinating and complex. As a retired person, the course has made me look at the landscape in a totally different manner, and has added significant value to my quality of life.

The support that you will receive from both the Centre for Lifelong Learning and your tutor, Dr. Annette McGrath, is of the very highest standard. They are there to help you, be it either with workload or personal problems.

The course involves weekly reading lists and exercises, and you will be encouraged to explore additional reading through your own research. The Virtual Learning Environment allows you to share and comment on work with other students, allowing one to see how others analyse information, and your tutor will make constructive and supportive comments on all work.

The residential week each year is of considerable benefit, allowing you to meet your fellow students, and the exercises and field trips are both highly enjoyable and educational.

The Post-Graduate qualification will benefit your employment prospects and, as a retired student, I found that it improved my time management, logical and analytical thinking, ability to synthesise information, and written communication. All these are of lifelong benefit, and you will feel a more complete person for having mastered them.

Daniel Normandale 

null‌My amateur interest in geology had been reinvigorated by attending the Centre's excellent non-accredited courses and I decided to take the plunge and sign up for the postgraduate diploma. As a full-time worker, I needed the course to be flexible and adaptable to complement my working patterns, and the course format did exactly that.

Participating in the weekly blogs, annual residential week and module assessments really benefited me at work, noticeably enhancing the quality of my written and verbal communication and analytical skills. Beyond work, I now see our landscape through new eyes, and the programme has made me understand and appreciate the full wealth and sheer diversity of Yorkshire and northern England's geology.

Completing the course has also been hugely beneficial to my career, giving me more personal and professional confidence, culminating in a promotion and opening doors to partnership working with eminent geologists at the British Geological Survey and various Universities.


Ken Madrell


It is not often that something exceeds one’s expectations by a very wide margin – but this course did.  The course is well organised allowing participants to go as deep (or not) as one wants with each topic. The advice and support of the tutor is excellent. The assessments! These are nothing to worry about – you just do your best. The practical weeks were very enjoyable and enabled face to face discussions with the tutor and other course participants.

The course has inspired me to take my studies further and I am now looking to undertake a masters degree.



English Building History

English Building History (MA)

Find out more about our MA in English Building History

The programme offers all the convenience of distance learning, as well as the resources and content of a full-time course. It is perfect for those who want to achieve higher education without leaving their professional careers.

Although the course is taught online, you will not have the feeling of working by yourself but in direct contact with your tutor who provides complete assistance.

The proposed activities cover different aspects and situations you may find in jobs related to built heritage and listed buildings, develop your analytical and critical thinking and create a very interactive and interesting atmosphere.

Roberto Prieto-Labrador