You want to know how someone with no nursing experience, no A Levels, no education for the previous decade was able to get a few offers for a few universities on her first UCAS cycle?
It’s called distance learning. When I made the strange decision to pack up my well-paid, very enjoyable job I had to enrol on an Access to Higher Education course. Basically, it’s a foundation type course that mature students (such as myself) can take to get the necessary credits to even apply to uni. There are two options: brick and mortar colleges where you have a classroom and a tutor and have homework and start in September and finish in August with some lovely holidays in between term time, or distance learning which is all self-directed and requires so much discipline it might kill you (not really).
Distance learning was my only option. It needed a credit card, sure, and I didn’t qualify for any loans, but it meant I could work, study and graduate in as little time as was possible. Three months, to be precise.
For those who have no need to take a distance learning course for any future uni plans, they’re still a great way to top up existing knowledge or learn a new skill. And that’s what I’m doing via NCC, who have kindly sorted me a Level 3 (A level equivalent) Life Coaching course to sit alongside my nursing degree. It’s roughly 200 hours, and again, very self-directed, but at the end of the eight modules I’ll have a neat little qualification to sit alongside my degree. And I’ll be able to fit it all in, between exams, assessments, clinicals and placements of course.
I had the choice of a few relevant courses, from end of life care, to diabetes management. I was actually tempted by the wedding planning, canine studies, and photojournalism, but I don’t think adding those bundles to my fragile workload was the best idea!
Everything is laid out super simply on your own self-study portal. There are eight modules, with lovely PDF guides and questions to assess yourself and your knowledge. I plan to spend a fortnight on each module completing each assessment. After four months or so, I’ll take the exam and provided I pass will get a shiny certificate with my new qualification!
I’ll be posting updates as I work my way through the course, so make sure you follow along if it’s something that interests you.