Educational consultant, researcher, and a university lecturer in Forensic Psychology, Alison Spurgeon-Dickson, attained a BA (Hons) Combined Studies degree at Bradford & Ilkley College in 1996.
Following graduation Alison worked part-time whilst studying for an MA Victorian Studies
in Leeds. Upon re-marriage, she relocated to Cumbria where she completed her MA as a
distance student. As she had studied psychology as part of her first degree she obtained a
job as Psychology Assistant at Haverigg Prison. Whilst given extensive Home Office training
to become Treatment Manager of the Offending Behaviour Programme, PASRO, she studied
for a BSc Psychology with the Open University.
Upon completion of the BSc, Alison joined South Cumbria Dyslexia Association as Training & Development Officer for a 3 year project working alongside the campaigns of the British Dyslexia Association. A key campaign was to raise awareness of dyslexia within the criminal justice system. Alison’s work then involved re-visiting HMP Haverigg as a consultant and as an advisor for learning disabilities amongst the prison population.
Alison continued her work in this field by setting up her own consultancy providing dyslexia awareness training in 2007. She combines this with being a Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at the University of Cumbria and also a local magistrate.
“When my children were babies I began my higher education with a solitary, but enlightening 2 years studying with the Open University. As soon as my youngest child went to school full-time I was able to transfer my learning to a full-time undergraduate programme at Bradford & Ilkley College.
Having since spoken to students who have ploughed their lonely way through years of distance learning, I realise now, that going to Bradford was the best thing that could have happened. I made many new friends, who remain in touch, and who have always been immensly stimulating and supportive – not to mention hilarious at times!
I will never forget my time at Bradford, and still constantly reflect upon what I learned during lectures, seminars, and tutorials. I feel fortunate in saying that all my lecturers were inspirational. Lester Hall, Gary Firth, and Lesley Fowler are some that I will never forget. They inspire the teaching work that I myself do today. Dave Bowen will always be remembered for his kindness, his support, and for sharing his great theological knowledge.
Twelve years on from graduation I now work as an educational consultant, a researcher, and a university lecturer. Whilst my students enjoy their time at University, and find success in their academic pursuits, I often find myself wondering if I could ever live up to the lecturers that I had when I was at Bradford.”
Photograph supplied by Alison Spurgeon-Dickson