Bangor University Student
I would recommend the Diploma strongly. If someone wants to get into a career for which they do not quite have the right level of education, the Access to HE Diploma is a great and exciting way of achieving the relevant qualifications needed to put you on track to your desired degree.
I found out about Access to HE from a friend who had recently decided to retrain as a mental health nurse. She too was a mature student, and I felt her advice would apply to me as we were in similar circumstances. I was at a point in my life where I too was very keen to retrain and change my career to something I had long wanted to pursue. Hearing about her positive experience of the Access to HE Diploma made me feel confident to take what seemed a big leap into a completely new area of work for me.
As I am a single parent to two young kids it was important to know I could cope financially during the Diploma - to be able to pay my mortgage, bills, and childcare costs. I applied for universal credit for the year and was also granted a childcare grant from a Welsh organisation called PACE which covered most of my costs. Furthermore, I worked on Saturdays and was also supported by my family.
Our tutors were fantastic. I found them extremely engaging and very good at preparing us as students for university, as well supporting us with our university choice. The coursework was great and well thought out and planned. It was relevant and I find I am getting through my degree better because of the subjects covered during Access to HE. The course exceeded my expectations and I also made some very good friends from our group of students.
Universities responded positively to my application as an Access to HE student. I had to achieve 30 distinctions out of 45 and I achieved 45 distinctions, which helped me get on to my degree course. Generally, the university appreciates Access to HE because the subjects covered are relevant and specific to the degree, including being taught about referencing and research tools.
I feel that the Access to HE Diploma prepared me very well for university - I’m not sure I would have managed to get this far without the skills taught on the course, especially referencing skills, academic writing, and search tools. The value to me of doing the course is huge, as it will give me access to the world of radiography, which is where I want to work and build a career. It has given me more confidence academically and the subjects covered are similar to some of the subjects we are currently being taught at university, which is of great benefit to me completing the degree more successfully.
I would recommend the Diploma strongly. If someone wants to get into a career for which they do not quite have the right level of education, the Access to HE Diploma is a great and exciting way of achieving the relevant qualifications needed to put you on track to your desired degree. It is also great for mature students like me who had a 15-year career in buying and management, but no experience or A-level in Biology, which was a requirement to get on to the Diagnostic Radiography degree course.