A North West College is planning a series of open events aimed at encouraging adults back into education and even university – and many students can study for free.
Wigan & Leigh College has a range of options for all ages and academic backgrounds, to help you find the career you always wanted.
Access to Higher Education courses
Adults considering returning to education with the aim to study at university may not have the entry qualifications to start right away. Access to Higher Education (HE) programmes bridge that gap. Within just one academic year you could be starting university with the right knowledge and skills you need to hit the ground running.
Aimed at adults 19 years and over, Access to HE programmes at Wigan & Leigh College cover a range of areas including psychology and criminology, business, computing, health, science, social and community work and teaching.
Career switch from retail to teaching
Blackrod mother-of-two, Kerrie MacGregor, left a retail management career to retrain to become a primary school teacher.
Kerrie (38), took up the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Teaching at Wigan & Leigh College to begin the journey towards her dream job. Now she is studying a BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS at Edge Hill University.
“I would highly recommend the Access course. The content fully prepared me for my university interviews, as I felt really confident answering all their questions.
“The tutors were really knowledgeable and delivered the course well, so much so that I managed to achieve the distinction grades I needed for university,” added Kerrie.
Proof of success
According to the latest report on Access to Higher Education Diploma courses, she’s set to join 90% of those with an Access to HE Diploma who went into employment or further study six months after completing their course.
The report, compiled by the QAA and Access to Higher Education, revealed that Access to HE Diplomas are offered in a wide range of subjects, including many which support progression to areas with skills shortages. Almost one third of those choosing this route into Higher Education take up health, public services and care courses.
Pre-Access Programme provides a push for future midwife
Those who want to join an Access to HE Diploma but do not have the entry requirements such as maths, English and science, can take up a Pre-Access Programme, designed around learners’ qualifications and standards of maths and English.
That’s how Marie McGahey (38) began her return to study. The mother-of-two from Wigan is now following her dream of becoming a midwife.
Marie first returned to college three years ago to re-sit English and maths GCSEs. Achieving an A in English and a C in maths inspired her to take up the Pre-Access Science course last year.
She is now studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Health and plans to go to university to take up midwifery.
Having held a range of jobs from retail to office based, care work to warehousing, Marie is now following a very different career path.
“I have always been around strong women,” said Marie. “Women’s strength is at its best when giving birth – I like the idea of being able to help them through it.”
Alongside her studies Marie has been elected Student Governor, representing the views of her fellow students, from school leavers to mature returners to learning.
Study for free
Over 3,500 adult learners joined the Wigan & Leigh College community last year with many able to study for free. Some Access to HE students take out an Advanced Learner Loan, which doesn’t have to be paid back if you go on to university and achieve a degree.
Pre-Access Programmes are free for those who intend to take up an Access to HE Diploma. You may focus on English and/or maths and all study a taster social sciences course.
Find out more
Are you ready to make the move towards a better future? Wigan & Leigh College is holding adult advice and enrolment events on Tuesday June 25, Thursday August 15, and Tuesday August 27, 2-7pm at Parsons Walk Centre, Wigan.
Find out more at www.wigan-leigh.ac.uk
The College also holds bespoke events for Access to HE applicants. Those who have applied will be invited to enrol and find out more about the courses.