Holly Brady

“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.”

Name: Holly Brady

Age: 20

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.

Sartika Morgan

Age: 35

Course: Access to HE Diploma (Health)

What did you do before you started your Access course with us?

I was a house wife who spent most of her free time running outdoors, taking part in fundraising events and volunteering at St. Oswald Charity shop in Gosforth.

What was your motivation for signing up to Access course?

I decided I needed to myself again. Do something for me. I researched careers and decided to set myself a goal of retraining to be a radiographer.

What attracted you to Gateshead College?

I’d already completed a short course at Gateshead College a few years ago, so I knew the facilities were great and the staff were really. Plus, it’s so easy to get to – just one bus to the Quayside and a short walk.

How have you found the course?

I’ve found the course very challenging with lots of pressure, but at the same time it is so rewarding. The course is intense, there’s no denying it, but it has enriched my knowledge and experience in the subject and I feel ready for my degree.

The teachers are wonderful and very supportive. They always help me find a solution to my problems, personal or academic.

“The course is intense, there’s no denying it, but it has enriched my knowledge and experience in the subject and I feel ready for my degree.”

As well as classroom study, what other opportunities have you had to develop your skills?

I’ve had two work experience placements – one at the Freeman Hospital and one at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  Both placements gave me so much knowledge about the role of a Radiographer. I know I’m not going into this career with a false impression of the job.

What would you say to anyone thinking about an Access course?

Before committing to the course, you need to be 100% certain of your end goal – the job or industry you want to work in. An Access course is only one year, but that’s just the start of the journey.

What extra support is on offer?

When you start the course, you’re given consultation ‘tokens’ to take at any time with your tutor. So, when you’re feeling down or things are getting too much, you can book an appointment, have a chat and get the moral support you need.

Are you still planning on going to university in September?

Yes, I’m planning to go to University of Hertfordshire, North London this September.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR ACCESS TO HE COURSES.

Mel Mallaby

Age: 25

Course: Access to HE Diploma (Health)

What did you do before you started your Access course with us?

I worked in the community, in health care for end of life patients.

What was your motivation for signing up to Access course?

I knew I wanted to go further in my line of work, so I knew I had to gain more academic knowledge to help me achieve my long-term career goals.

What attracted you to Gateshead College?

I heard about the course from a friend. They recommended the course for the career I want to go into. I looked around at other colleges, but decided Gateshead was right place for me as it was so highly recommended.

How have you found the course?

The course has been intense at times, but very rewarding once you can see how well you are doing through your grades. I would definitely recommend the course for those that want to go into a health profession that requires a degree. 

What would you say to anyone thinking about an Access course?

Don't even think about it just do it, the course has a lot to offer and the staff are very supportive.

What financial help is available?

You can get low cost loans that you don’t repay if you complete your degree. College has even helped me with the cost of my petrol, which has been a big help.

Are you still planning on going to university in September?

I am going to Northumbria University in September to study Adult Nursing.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR ACCESS TO HE COURSES.