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Tom Felton-Hunt

SECOND YEAR MEDICAL STUDENT, KEELE UNIVERSITY


Working on the Access course enabled me to figure out how to study again - it helped me to develop my own strategies and techniques. But probably most importantly of all, it gives you the confidence that you do have the capability and capacity to come onto an incredibly complex degree course and do well.
Timeline - 1984: Science Access course, Southwark College 1987: BSc Geology, Goldsmiths, University of London  1995-2006: Professor, Kingston University. 2006-2010: Pro Vice-Chancellor, Bournemouth University 2010: Vice-Chancellor, University of Northampton

Tom's story

I studied the Access to Medicine course at Stafford College, and was an actor for about 15 years before that, so working in a very different industry.

 

Returning to education as an adult was always going to be difficult. I think I was probably quite apprehensive when I started the Access course because I was thinking that I was too old for it! I was worried about how I would make a living, and how I would keep the house and the mortgage payments and everything else. And I think that’s one of the reasons why the Access course is so good, because they are flexible they enable you to continue earning some money and fitting in your other commitments like children and family.


Working on the Access course enabled me to figure out how to study again. It helped me to develop my own strategies and techniques, and to take responsibility for my own learning which is something that is invaluable when you’re at medical school. The course is designed to be taught to adults, and I think that really helps because when you’re returning to education you learn in a different way, initially at least.

 

I didn’t have much confidence when I started the Access course. I didn’t know if I would have the capacity to learn. Studying at Stafford, where the education was tailored toward adult learners, gave me a real confidence boost. The course gives you the confidence that you do have the capability and the capacity to come onto an incredibly complex degree course and do well.

 

You’ll find once you get to university, you’re actually fine, you are able to keep up, and all the things you were worried about before don’t really matter anymore.

 

And what you’ve done is you have empowered yourself, you’ve given yourself that opportunity to completely change the way that your life and your family’s lives are going to be henceforth.

 

That’s an incredibly brave thing to do, but it’s also incredibly important, and hugely empowering. So I would say go for it!