As well as helping with the housework, for the eight years after she left school, Susan did a variety of jobs, none of them very fulfilling. However, she went for walks with her sisters in the surrounding countryside, read widely and developed socialist ideas. At this point, in 1908, one of her older sisters persuaded her father to allow her to enter a two-year course leading to a Certificate in the Teaching of Young Children at the University of Manchester. She so impressed the woman in charge of this course with her academic abilities that, in 1908, Grace Owen persuaded the Professor of Education, John Findlay, to allow Susan to enter a Full Honours degree course in Philosophy. When her father died a year later, a small inheritance allowed her to pursue her studies.
As an undergraduate, she played an active part in student societies, becoming Chairman of the Sociological Society and President of the Women’s Student Union. She had a number of outstanding teachers, both in education and in philosophy. She took her Final Examinations in June 2012 and passed with First Class Honours. Prior to her final examinations, her teachers had persuaded Charles Myers, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Cambridge, to take her on as a research student there.