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On Track for a Career in Nursing



Having completed the first year of a two-year University Access Diploma in Social Science at Northern Regional College, a County Tyrone man is now on track for a career in nursing. When he left school with nine GCSEs and two A levels, Bobbie Currie from Coagh worked in retail for a number of years before taking up a full-time position as Home Administrator in a care home in 2018. At the time, he had no long term career plans but working alongside the carers and nurses inspired him to consider a nursing career.

Before enrolling on the Access Diploma last year, Bobbie explored the different options open to him.  

“As I wanted to progress to university, the Access Course offered by Northern Regional College, made sense. It is validated by Ulster University and I spoke to quite a few former students who couldn’t praise the course enough.

“I’ve just completed the first year of the part-time course and really enjoyed it. Not only have I made some good friends who want to study the same topic as myself, but I have enjoyed the structure and layout of the course.”

He continued: “It is very ‘hands-on’ and while there is a lot of self-motivation needed, the lecturers have been very helpful and are such a positive influence.

Bobbie said he would no hesitation recommending the Access Diploma course as a pathway to university and his advice to others is to think of the course as a ‘a snippet of university life’.

“It will give you the skills to progress and succeed. Help is there when you need it, you only have to ask. It really does suit everyone. In my class, we’ve people of all ages who all have very different working/home lives but we were able to help and support eachother, even when the pandemic hit.”

He continued: “I feel that I will much better prepared now going to university and it will not be such a shock to the system. We’ve learnt how to source information for ourselves and how to utilise different medias to help us with the coursework. I will be forever grateful to Alice McCann for drilling referencing into our heads - I know I will really appreciate when I go to university!”

Bobbie added that anyone thinking of returning to study should talk to others who have already gone down that road as hearing about their experiences would help them make to informed decisions.

“The Access Course is very tailored to nursing or other healthcare professions and talking to former students convinced me that I want to go on and study Adult Nursing.”

The aim of the University Access Diploma in Social Science, which is A level standard, is to give mature students an alternative pathway to university and/or an opportunity to achieve an academic qualification to enhance their career prospects. It is offered on both a full-time and part-time basis and its modularised structure offers flexibility, making it particularly suitable for anyone who has to fit their study around family and work commitments. For further information, go to

Applications are now open for all courses at Northern Regional College.  Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, prospective students are encouraged to enrol online. Once an application is submitted, applicants will be contacted (by email, text and postcard) and advised how to complete the enrolment process from home.