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Susan Nelson, Course Coordinator

"The Access course gave me a level of fulfilment that I hadn't experienced before"
1992
Access to Humanities, Coleg Glan Hafren
1997
MSc Sociology, University of Bristol
2006
PGCE, Cardiff University

Susan's story

My father was in the Army while I was growing up and this meant we moved around a lot. I'd been to 11 schools by the time I was 12 and I guess this messed up my education. I left school at 15 with no qualifications and went to work as a goods inward clerk.

I started to feel intellectually frustrated

As time went by, I started to feel intellectually frustrated. I worked in a series of unskilled jobs because I could never prove to anyone that I could do anything more challenging. But all the time I felt sure I was capable of a lot more.

I was 43 years old and a mother of two school-aged children when a friend told me about the Access to HE course. We decided as a family that we could manage without my earnings for a year while I did the course.

It opened our eyes

The Access to HE course gave me a level of fulfilment that I hadn't experienced before. The tutors introduced us to subjects and ideas that we'd never come across before - it opened our eyes to a new way of seeing things. The course was really well planned.

I learnt how to get the best out of myself

The tutors were so enthusiastic and understood our learning needs really well. When your confidence was beginning to wobble they'd step in with the right advice. As the course progressed, I learnt how to get the best out of myself and I continued to apply those skills throughout my time at university.