Louise Carlton was inspired to enroll in an Access to Higher Education Nursing and Midwifery programme at City of Oxford College after working for four years in the British Army.
Louise, a former Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Operator from Glasgow, was looking to gain further qualifications and knew that she had wanted to dedicate her focus to a career in healthcare for some time.
Her previous position in the army seemed a far cry from the challenges of a new career in healthcare. Louise said: “Before I started the programme, I was a serving soldier based at Larkhill with 32 Regiment Royal Artillery. My time in the army took me on numerous deployments overseas for a variety of purposes, including adventurous training and battery exercises.
When asked about why she chose the Access to HE Nursing and Midwifery programme at City of Oxford College, Louise added: “I chose this programme at the City of Oxford College as it is aimed towards mature students who have spent a period being away from full-time education. I knew that I wanted to go on to study a degree in physiotherapy, however I was unsure how capable I would be of meeting the entry requirements. I was also worried about balancing work and studying, but knowing that I would be with those in a similar situation to me relieved a lot of pre-programme apprehension.”
Louise was also pleased with programmes content and the depth of the core subjects she studied, finding the transition challenging, but well explained by her tutors. She said: “I absolutely loved the programme and the help and support I received throughout was second to none. The most fulfilling part was discovering my own learning style and utilising this to reach my full potential, through the expert guidance of my tutors. For example, in research projects, we were given the freedom to focus on topics we were most interested in, which not only facilitated independent learning but convinced me of my ability to do so.”
When asked would she recommend the programme to others considering higher education, Louise added: “I would tell people considering an Access to HE programme that it is never too late to return to education, and to aim high to achieve your goals. The programme assumes no knowledge, and therefore everything is gradual and taken a step at a time. Although the workload can be heavy, it is completely manageable and the support I’ve received at City of Oxford College has been incredible.
She commended her tutors further, adding: “From my experience, the tutors went above and beyond their roles; possessing a genuine passion and diligence in our achievements and were always on hand to answer questions or provide extra help.”
Louise concluded: “Applying to Access to HE programme course was the best decision I have ever made and I cannot recommend it enough for anyone wishing to pursue a career following higher education.
“I’m not sure what area I would like to specialise in yet, but a career within healthcare is something I have wanted for a long time, so, I’m open to the possibilities.”
Louise has accepted an offer to study Physiotherapy at Oxford Brookes University.