Stephanie Dunne

Beginning her studies at UCM in 2017 on the Level 3 IT & Computing course, Stephanie Dunne is a great example of a student who has worked their way up the academic ladder from a BTEC and undergraduate degree at UCM, to now pursuing postgraduate studies at the University of St Andrews – proving that hard work can lead to high level academic qualifications.

Taking Advantage of Every Opportunity

During her Level 3 studies, Stephanie got stuck into as many opportunities as she could, participating in the Manx ICT Apprenticeship (MICTA) Scheme, where she worked closely with LOVE Tech IOM to encourage young women to consider pursuing STEM related careers, as well as completing a ‘Career Ready’ internship to strengthen her CV and build industry connections.

“I completed my first year of A Levels but knew that I wanted to focus my studies solely around IT, and so after joining UCM I was determined to take advantage of as many work experience opportunities as I could. My tutors encouraged me to give everything a go, and I’m so glad I did”.

Stephanie also undertook an apprenticeship during this time with Government Technology Services (GTS), gaining experience working in all/most areas of GTS including the website support team.


One-to-one Support from Tutors

Stephanie progressed to the BSc (Hons) Applied Computing degree in 2019, taking advantage of being able to live at home and save money throughout her studies, as well as benefiting from the additional support from tutors.

“I’m so glad that I went to UCM to study my undergraduate degree. Because the classes are smaller, not only do you have that one-on-one connection with your tutors, but they can dedicate more of their time to speak with you and get to know you.”

Stephanie found her end of year feedback to be very personalised, something which helped her greatly when selecting modules suited to her strengths.

“I have to say that my tutors were great at highlighting to me what my strengths and weaknesses were, this was really beneficial when it came to reflecting on my progress and choosing my modules for the next academic year."


Postgraduate Studies

It was during her undergraduate degree that Stephanie discovered her interest in the ‘User Experience’ module which looked at different types of technology, how ‘useable’ it is for people and whether it’s fulfilling its purpose. This inspired Stephanie to pursue this area at postgraduate level, deciding to push herself out of her comfort zone and leave the Island.

“My studies at UCM definitely pushed me to pursue my interests further, and now I’m at the University of St Andrews studying MSc Human Computer Interaction. I really enjoy understanding the human element of technology, and my postgraduate degree is all about how we as humans utilise computers and experience them.

“A few times in the last year I have had multiple large assignments due in the same week, but I‘ve been able to balance deadlines and heavy workloads using the skills I learned during the undergraduate project management classes at UCM.


What’s Next?

Stephanie is hoping to continue her studies, looking to take a psychology conversion course to specialise in her area of interest and linking technology to human experience. She also has her sights set on completing her PhD one day… so watch this space!