Graduate profile
Sam is a white woman with brown hair, she wears glasses and is smiling at the camera

Sam Knipe

"Each module brings a new way of thinking about the learning environment and highlights the need for cooperation, co-ownership and energy in the classroom for active learning to take place."


Education for Health Professionals PGCert

Graduation year


Why I chose Surrey 

I have always had a passion for supporting learners in the healthcare setting. Colleagues would often tell me I had a natural propensity for teaching, so when I joined the Professional Development team in my Trust to support a wider cohort of learners it offered me the opportunity to develop these skills. It also led me to explore and complete the Education for Health Professionals PGCert at Surrey.  

My course 

My journey has been protracted due to Covid-19, but as I have learnt with the incredible support of the teaching staff, good teachers can adapt and make the most of any situation.   

Each module brings a new way of thinking about the learning environment and highlights the need for cooperation, co-ownership and energy in the classroom for active learning to take place. This means the course is interactive by nature and relies on all students making a contribution to the classroom regarding prior knowledge and experience, while offering opportunities to share good practice. This was made all the easier by the teaching staff who were knowledgeable, enthusiastic and had lived experiences of the journey being taken by the student. 

Studying at masters level was new to me, so I approached the library at the Stag Hill campus for support. The team were very receptive to my concerns about critiquing research papers and offered small classroom-based sessions with the aim of proofreading papers to start developing those critical skills.  

My memorable moment came at the end of the programme when delivering my final presentation on my curriculum to Nikki White and Professor Melaine Coward, Head of the School of Health Sciences. I was incredibly nervous; this meant so much to me, and I didn’t want to let them down. Having gabbled through my presentation at what felt like breakneck speed I waited for their feedback. ‘Really Sam, have you learnt nothing in the past three years – should you have prepared better? Did you cover everything?’ I could hear the voice in my head say. But it was in that moment I could see everything I had learnt from the programme was there on the screen, the underpinning theories I had scrutinised, the teaching, learning and assessment strategies I was using, and the clear argument of justification for their use was there. This was incredibly empowering as I acknowledged the journey, I had taken to prove my ability. 

My career and development 

Imposter syndrome has been my nemesis for many years, but I can now say completing the Education for Health Professionals PGCert has assured me I have the ability to plan and deliver transformational learning to staff and students in my Trust. I have had the opportunity to consider who I am as a teacher and critically reflect on the development of my style. Having made it my mission to improve the learning environment, inspire the student’s journey and drive-up standards, I now truly appreciate the light-bulb moments students have as they develop their autonomous practice, and this fills me with a huge amount of pride. I now see the changes I have made to my delivery bringing a different dynamic to the classroom which is exciting. I am no longer a novice but a well-established educator. 

My advice  

If you are looking for a course with colleagues from multidisciplinary backgrounds whilst developing your skills as an educator in healthcare, then consider Surrey – the tutors are passionate about your development, and along the way you develop close bonds with like-minded peers who chivvy you along, offer encouragement and at the end are considered friends and confidants. 


Find out more about our postgraduate courses in health sciences and our Education for Health Professionals PGCert.

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