Air stewardess takes distance learning to new heights, gaining an MA in Ancient Religions


Cabin crew member Annaliese Freeman has recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Ancient Religions from University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) in Lampeter, despite having had to fit her studies around travelling between different continents.

Annaliese Freeman

Annaliese Freeman.

Annaliese opted for this course as a way to progress her studies having previously achieved a degree in Classics and Archaeology from the University of Kent.

“I decided to study the MA in Ancient Religions with UWTSD as it looked like a really interesting course, focusing specifically on the religious aspects of ancient history that I personally found interesting,” she says.

“I decided to study as a distance learner as this would allow me to continue working full time as cabin crew. This was in itself challenging as I travelled extensively with my job, often through different time zones.”

She was helped by the fact that it was easy to catch up with lectures and work via email and video chat.

“I really felt that I wasn’t missing out by being a distance learner and that I could learn at my own convenience,” she says. “I was always able to contact someone for help if I needed it and I was also able to access a lot of my resources online rather than travel to the library.” 

Annaliese’s ambition is to one day specialise in ancient Egyptian religion and possibly become a lecturer or teacher, so she now hopes to apply for a PHD.

“This course has enabled me to really focus on what I want to gain in terms of my career and has helped me to move forward academically,” she says. “It has given me valuable skills that I can apply not only to my academic life but to my personal life also.” 

Annaliese’s lecturer, Dr Katharina Zinn, is highly impressed by her commitment and flexibility.

“Annaliese mastered the MA as full-time distance student despite being a full-time air stewardess,” she says. “Her essays were submitted from all over the world and always in time, keeping on top of constantly changing time differences, which asks for an even higher degree of organisation.

“My supervisions with her saw her in South America, the Near East and many other places. In addition to the module content, she excelled in her dissertation, gaining a distinction in a very challenging topic that she made her own.” 

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