“While I was working, I came back to college and did a Level 3 in Children’s Care, Learning and Development at SERC’s Newcastle Campus. It was around this time my now husband, a mental health nurse, got the opportunity to go out and work in Australia, so we both decided to go and stayed for four years."
“I was doing all kinds of work out there, just anything as I knew it was temporary. I had my first child in Australia, and we returned to Northern Ireland in 2016. By the time I had my third child, I knew I was ready to return to education and do something for myself."
"Being familiar with SERC, I just got on the website and had a look at what I could do. I found out about the Access Level 3 Diploma in Foundation Studies, and it sounded like the right thing for me. I had harboured ideas of university, but it seemed like such a distant dream, I thought I will just do this and see where it takes me. I chatted to the tutor, applied online, and started the following week!"
“Coming back into education was an adjustment but everyone was great, which made it easier to get on with it. I had just had my third child before joining the course, and because I was breast feeding, I was able to bring him along with me. The tutors were very supportive, but one of the best things about the Access course was just getting back into the way of learning; it is easier than you think when you have that support."
“Right now, I am just completing the second year of my BSc in Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast. It has been tough, especially with having my fourth child during first year, but I have made a good group of friends who are all mature students, and my family have been very supportive with all the juggling that comes with returning to education. After the degree, I would love to get involved in teaching mature students, perhaps on an Access course. It would be like coming full circle and if I can do it – with four young children - anyone can do it!"
“I would encourage anyone even thinking about returning to education to just do it. It opens your options and as an adult returner, you get support and direction to go where you want to go. And if it is university you are thinking about, you will get all the encouragement you need to get you over the line. You cannot really prepare for the confidence boost that comes with Access. I received an Excellence Award for Access Student of the Year when I was studying, and I know that both the course and the Award boosted me to do things I wouldn’t have dreamed of, like putting myself forward for Class Rep at uni – that’s the Access effect, it comes as part of the course.”
Keep up with the latest from SERC