Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


School of Education


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Supervisor

Joan Strikwerda-Brown


This study of three women's experiences ·with studying at university whilst bearing the responsibilities of family and work, investigated the unique situations and problems that these mothers encountered. A qualitative research approach was utilised, using a narrative inquiry method to give voice to the student mothers, which has proved to be lacking in academic research. In addition to an auto-ethnographic case study, two case studies were formulated by conducting conversational interviews with two other student mothers. Common themes were identified and discussed, with reference to the literature. The findings of this study suggested that the experiences of mothers studying at university were consistent with the past research that suggested they face many barriers to learning. The nature and origin of these barriers has been discussed and recommendations for modifications have been made.