Name: Holly Brady
Course: Access to HE Diploma in Health
What did you do before you started your Access course with us?
I had left school at 16 and was working in a junior management role within the hospitality sector.
What was your motivation for signing up to Access course?
I knew I wanted to change career but thought my dream of being a social worker would never happen, as I didn’t do A Levels so I thought I would never get into university. Then I found out that if I studied on an Access course for one year, I’d have the qualifications I needed to get into university.
What attracted you to Gateshead College?
I chose Gateshead college because it is the Number 1 performing college in the North east, 6th in the whole of UK and Ofsted ‘outstanding'. For me there was no other choice. I could have studied closer to home, but I decided the extra travel was worth it to study at the best college. The facilities here are fantastic and the teaching staff are really supportive.
How have you found the course?
The course has been a challenge! It has taught me how to work independently and really push myself. It’s prepared me for university and I’m feeling much more confident that I’ll be able to handle my degree.
As well as classroom study, what other opportunities have you had to develop your skills?
I have been involved in a mentoring scheme for young offenders. I heard about it on the course opportunities board in College. I am planning on being a social worker, so having the experience to mentor young people has been invaluable. It’s something I was able to include in my UCAS application for university too.
What would you say to anyone thinking about an Access course?
It’s been challenging as it’s very intense, but it’s worth it! Although you’re only in college two days each week, you really need to dedicate another two or three days to complete assignments and do your research.
What financial support is on offer?
We were told all about course fees and low cost loans you don’t have to pay back if you go on to complete your degree – it’s a really good deal. Other people on my course also received help towards their childcare and travel expenses.
How did college help you with your university application?
The Careers Team made us all aware of the UCAS deadlines, which are quite early in the year. They helped us find the right courses, gave advice on how to write our application and tips for university interviews.
Are you still planning on going to university in September?
Yes, I’m going to University in September. I have a conditional offer at Northumbria University to study (BSc) Social Work.
Being able to get into uni after just one year has made all the hard work worthwhile. I’ve met such lovely people who will be friends for life.
Click here to find out more about our Access to HE courses.