Medical student at Kent and Medway Medical School
The teaching was delivered to a high standard and their knowledge of the application process and extra support outside of the academic structure of the course was invaluable.
Suzi had dreamt of becoming a doctor since she was 11 years old.
However, as most of her A-levels were not in the sciences, she ended up taking on a succession of jobs in creative fields in the 10 years after leaving school.
Despite working as a photographer’s agent, for fashion stylists, and training to be a pastry chef, she still had not let go of her dream of entering medicine and during the pandemic she set about figuring out how she could achieve this.
This led her to the Access to Higher Education Diploma.
'It seems like an impossible thing to do once you’re out of school. I was looking at doing three individual A levels, but I thought that would be really hard on my own and more expensive. Once I found the Access to HE course I felt it was my best chance.' Suzi says.
If you complete your Access to HE course, the fees are written off so there is nothing comparable for someone with a less than conventional background. 1
Suzi feels that the Access to HE Diploma course is a perfect environment for bringing people from varied backgrounds into higher education - something that she believes is all for the good of professional communities.
She says: ‘They are all bringing their life experiences into it, especially as they are generally slightly older and really motivated to achieve. I think that’s really important and good for the professional environment they go into. They might achieve more as they’ve experienced setbacks or had to figure it out for themselves.
'It can make the workforce more representative of the people they serve and hopefully help the field make better decisions that benefit more people.'
On the Access to HE Diploma itself, Suzi says that it facilitated a comfortable transition into the first year of medical school and was a good way for her to figure out a work/life balance before going to university.
'One of my tutors was absolutely amazing and made me fall in love with chemistry, which I didn’t think was possible. The teaching was delivered to a high standard and their knowledge of the application process and extra support outside of the academic structure of the course was invaluable.
'I didn’t really know what to expect, but overall I would say the experience was better than I could have anticipated. It gave me a lot of confidence, especially after being out of formal education for over 10 years. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed attending college and being in a classroom environment again.'
For those people who are considering an Access to HE Diploma as a route into higher education, Suzi believes that it is never too late to realise your dreams.
'If there’s something you’re passionate about then go for it. You could achieve more than you ever have imagined - but if you don’t try, you’ll never know. Ultimately, it’s only nine months and you could gain a future and find yourself on the right path where you’ll be happy.'
'I’m not young. I thought that I’d rather be 35 and a doctor, than 35 and not.'
Suzi is now a medical student at Kent and Medway Medical School after studying the Access to HE Diploma (Medicine) at Morley College London.
 If you are funded by an Advanced Learner Loan the balance of your course fees are written off.