Science at SERC Suits Cassie

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22 February 2024

Cassie Caldwell Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science

An interest in antibacterial substances secured Cassie Caldwell a coveted place at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE)  in January this year. Cassie (19) from Cloughy, near Portaferry, is currently completing a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science at SERC’s Bangor Campus.

Following her GCSEs at St Columba’s College in Portaferry, Cassie started A levels at Down High School.   She said, “I contracted Covid and it took me a while to recover so after I completed my AS Levels, I decided I wanted to take a different route.   My sister studied a Foundation Degree in Sport at SERC and her experience of the College she helped me make my decision.”  

“I have always loved science, so the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Sciences seemed like the perfect course for me.  I could have started a foundation degree, but with the disruption Covid had on my health, I felt it was best for me to do the Level 3 which would open up different pathways for higher education.”

Cassie’s investigation: ‘Antibacterial substances and if they could be developed to replace antibiotics?’  was selected for the BTYSTE under the Biological and Ecological category. She said, “It was a last-minute decision to put an entry forward, but I was delighted that I did. It involved a lot of work, but I really enjoyed going to Dublin and meeting other like-minded students and to seeing all the other projects.”     

On studying at SERC Cassie said, “One of my favourite parts of the course has been the microbiology element.   The facilities and the tutors are great and last year I had the opportunity to go to Italy on a study placement through the Turing Scheme.   It took me out of my comfort zone, but it was amazing to see everyday science in another part of the world.”

Cassie concluded, “After the Level 3, I am thinking of doing a HNC in Applied Science.   My career ambition is to work in research and development in the field of cancers or viruses. It is an exciting time to be studying science and working towards a career in the sector.”

Apply now for courses commencing September 2024.   Come along to our full-time open evening from 4.00pm – 7.00pm on Thursday 7 March at the Bangor, Downpatrick, Lisburn and Newtownards Campuses.