Did you think Higher Education was out of reach?

03 September 2019

Thousands of students are starting college this September, and it’s not just school leavers who are taking the next step towards their dream job.

Career swappers, starters and boosters are coming to Middlesbrough College to benefit from its industry-leading facilities and tutors who are helping them gain the qualifications they need to excel.

And the College’s Access to Higher Education (HE) diplomas and HE Programmes can lead to a wider range of opportunities, a more rewarding career and increased earning potential.

Middlesbrough College is focused on delivering flexible, affordable learning that equips students with the skills and knowledge that employers need. And the student experience is different from a traditional university, with smaller class sizes meaning more contact time with tutors.

Many of the programmes are available to study on a full and part-time basis too, giving students the flexibility to study around their work and home life commitments.  

One student who made a life changing move is former joiner Sean Griffiths.

The 31-year-old paramedic from Billingham now saves lives for a living, and has told others that it’s not too late to go back to the classroom and make big career changes.

Several years ago, as an apprentice joiner working on building sites, Sean found himself bored and unfulfilled and was looking for a change.

But without academic qualifications he worried his options were limited.

“I’d always fancied working in the health sector but people I know who’d done that were at A* level in school, and I wasn’t.

“I struggled with science at school and thought that might stop me, but I went to an open day at Middlesbrough College and discovered there was a way.

“Now I’m in a new career and it’s changed my life.”

Access to HE diplomas offer an alternative route for people who want to go on to university but don’t have traditional qualifications. The year-long courses equip students with the skills and know-how required for further study.

The College offers 14 diplomas across a range of subjects, including business, healthcare and computing.

After completing an Access course, students can progress to further study at degree level.

Sean’s Access to Health course at Middlesbrough College prepared him for the next step in his journey to university. 

After graduating in July last year, he joined the North East Ambulance Service a few months later and now works demanding shifts as a paramedic – responding to emergencies across Teesside.

“I couldn’t afford to give up work so I studied the Access course on top of my day job.

“It was hard as it’s the equivalent of two years’ of A Level study in nine months, but the tutors were flexible and the course really prepared me for university.

“What’s even better – the course fees are refunded if you complete a degree programme afterwards.

“Anyone who wants to make a change in their life should think about it.” 

Dan Harrison enjoyed his time studying Level 3 Music Technology at Middlesbrough College so much he decided to stay and study for a degree in Sound and Music Technology through the Open University at Middlesbrough College’s University Centre.

After graduating, he quickly found a job co-ordinating lighting and sound for various nightclubs and theatres across Teesside including Billingham Forum Theatre and The Empire in Middlesbrough. In fact, Dan found that employers seek out Middlesbrough College graduates as they know that their knowledge and skills are well suited for industry.

Four years later, Dan is now working for global technology company Tedav and has the College to thank for the opportunity.

He said: “Coming away from the College with a degree that employers value and recognise has been hugely beneficial in the transition from the classroom to the working world – and I’ve found finding a job in the sector very easy!

“I chose to stay and study at Middlesbrough College as I knew the tutors and high spec of the equipment. It was also a bonus that the course was right on my doorstep so I could study close to home and save money.”

As well as its unique course offering and expert tutors, Middlesbrough College is home to unrivalled training facilities, including the £20m STEM Training Centre, a Health and Care Ward and a dedicated digital hub, MC Digital.

Building on its Good Ofsted rating and TEF Gold success - a teaching excellence framework (TEF) that assesses the quality of teaching in universities in England – the College is also proud to be in the final phase of being awarded Institute of Technology status. In partnership with New College Durham, Newcastle University and Nissan, Middlesbrough College will be the dedicated technical training hub for higher skills in the Tees Valley.

Take the first step towards your future career, and find out more about our Access to HE diplomas and HE programmes – call 01642 333333 for course information or visit www.mbro.ac.uk.

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