Issue date: 08 August 2001

When you first meet Edwin Dyson you are impressed by his communication skills and his natural charisma. As Students’ Union President at one of the largest universities in the country these are essential skills. But Edwin Dyson has also a great deal of tenacity and determination to succeed in his academic studies. He left school at the age of 18 with no A Levels and took a job as a Deputy Manager in a pub restaurant in his home town of Nottingham where he worked for 2 ½ years. At the age of 22 he decided he wanted to pursue his goal of studying at University and took two A Levels in one year - Psychology and Sociology. His predicted grades were an A and B and he says he was really disappointed to receive 2 Ds, “I was absolutely gutted. My goal was to go to university and study Psychology and I had my heart set on my first choice but all three of my choices wanted 2 Bs. When I received my results my first move was to sit down with a pint and have a good think about what to do. I got a copy of the Independent and saw the full page ad for UWE. All my original choices had been in the North of the country and I had not considered going South. I called UWE and it was the first year the University was offering a straight Psychology degree.

“ I said, “I’ve got two Ds, I’m 23 and I really want to study Psychology” – and they said yes!! They could see I had the motivation because I had done the 2 A levels in a year and had held down a job for 2½ years.

“I’m really happy with my choice. There is actually a better range of modules here more suited to my interests than was offered by my original choice of university. The tutors are very good and the support staff in the Psychology department are excellent.

“In my second year I got heavily involved with the Students’ Union and the NUS National Student Learning Programme – a new initiative to train students in the skills wanted by employers. I stood for SU president and have taken a year out of studying to fulfil that role. I am really looking forward to going back on the course and completing my final year. After graduating I may go into training or teaching.

“My advice to students who don’t get the results they want is:
Don’t Panic. Gather all the information you can – from the papers, prospectuses, websites, UCAS. If you only narrowly missed your grades – still try for your original choice. If your grades are way off – try to re focus. Consider a different University or a different course. It’s not the end of the world.

“I realise now I’m not an exam person. I worry about how much revision I’ve done, have I revised the right things and how its going to come out on paper. I know now that I do my best work in seminars and course work.”

“In the end it’s all about motivation – not getting the right grades or onto the right course isn’t the end of the world. There are still plenty of options out there.”


Editors Note:
Jpeg image of Edwin Dyson available from the Press Office

Back to top