Third Sector Podcast #10: Qualifications

In the latest Third Sector Podcast, we cover qualifications, Brexit and what happens when your small charity goes viral

This article has been amended. See final paragraph for details.

In the latest episode, we look at qualifications in the charity sector, asking what they can offer, whether they are needed and whether they risk creating further barriers for people who want to work in the sector. 

Last month, Queen Mary University of London launched the first undergraduate degree programme in social changeThird Sector features and analysis writer Rebecca Cooney talks to the programme lead, Dr Patrick McGurk, and Adrienne Sanders, learning and development business partner at Mind, about why they set up the course, as well as Noama Chaudhry and Adarsh Ramchurn, two of the students on the course, about their experiences.

Both students are completing apprenticeship placements as part of their courses: Noama is an apprentice at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, while Adarsh is at the arts and science charity the RSA

Third Sector's deputy editor, Emily Burt, talks to Chetal Patel, business immigration lawyer and partner at Bates Wells, about Brexit in a quick-fire Q&A about what we know about Britain's planned departure from the EU, how prepared charities are and whether that's even possible.

And Rebecca talks to Francesca Trotman and Andrea Biden, the founder and director of the marine conservation charity Love The Oceans, which recently found that its Instagram account @LoveTheOceans had been promoted by the Instagram account of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

View this post on Instagram

This month we turned to you for ideas of accounts to follow featuring people, organisations and causes that you find inspiring or noteworthy. Thank you to each and every one of you who contributed! Many of you have suggested that we use this month as an opportunity to highlight lesser known organisations and shine a light on those working hard behind the scenes that may not get the level of attention that they so rightly deserve. These accounts showcase those persevering at the grassroots level, connecting our global community through a shared lens of giving back and helping one another. We were so happy to learn about them and are now able to share them with you! Thank you for being part of this collective conversation with us; we hope everyone has enjoyed discovering many of these accounts and engaging with each other on how we can all be Forces For Change. •All photos used above are from the accounts we are now following•

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

Although this was great news for the charity's profile, it created a huge amount of work for the charity, which has just two members of staff. Francesca and Andrea explain what it meant for the charity, how they coped and what advice they would offer charities in a similar situation.

You can listen to the podcast below:

If you have comments on this edition of the podcast, please let us know your thoughts on Twitter at @thirdsector or email us at

We would like to thank our guests for joining us.

This article has been amended to make clear that the QMUL programme is the first undergraduate degree in social change, not the first degree, as previously stated.

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