JUST two weeks into her BSc Psychology course at the University of Chester, type 1 diabetic Ellen Clift found herself in hospital fighting an infection.

Four years on, the 23-year-old is about to embark on the career of her dreams – thanks, she says, to the continuing support of staff who call her “inspirational”.

Ellen said: “I have definitely learned a lot about my condition while at university. With the help of staff, allowing me deferrals and extensions for assignments when I needed them and time-off for medical appointments, I’ve been able to keep control of my diabetes and live university life like anyone else.”

She added: “Gaining my degree has shown me that hard work really does pay off.”

Ellen, originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, loved Chester – the city and the University – from the moment she stepped out of her car on the morning of the University’s open day in 2014. She said: “When I was being shown around the Psychology Department, I could picture myself there.

“I started studying Psychology at AS level. Mental health is becoming so much more important in healthcare and the broad spectrum of things you learn about in Psychology is so applicable to everyday life.

“I found out that a degree in Psychology can lead to many different career pathways, including occupational, educational, forensic and clinical, to name just a few.”

As part of her course, Ellen, who grew up in Harrogate, studied abroad, in Padua, Italy.