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Accessible and Affordable Higher and Further Education Options

Rachel McNabb

Reporter:

Rachel McNabb

WHATEVER your learning or career goals may be, Northern Regional College has a course for you. With hundreds of full-time and part-time accredited courses on offer - from entry level right up to degree and Foundation degree level – there are plenty of accessible and affordable options at the College’s six campuses in Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Magherafelt and Newtownabbey.

Dr Laura Firth, Head of Student Experience at Northern Regional College has a timely reminder for prospective students about the real benefits of studying at their local FE College.

“Northern Regional College is an attractive alternative for anyone who’d like to stay local to study. The College offers smaller class sizes in comparison to traditional university lectures and students have weekly support via group tutorials or one to one sessions if needed.

“Having a recognised qualification can improve your career prospects but if you’re not sure what course to do, the College’s professional careers advisors will help you choose what is right for you.”

When his A level results didn’t go to according to plan, Bushmills student, James McCullough signed up to do a Foundation Degree in Engineering at the College’s Farm Lodge Campus in Ballymena.

James did A level Maths, Technology and Geography at Coleraine Grammar (formerly known as Coleraine Institute) where he was deputy head boy. He admits that until results day, he’d never really considered the College as an option but following his positive experience there, he would have no hesitation recommending it to others.

“We covered a variety of topics which helped me decide which area of engineering I wanted to focus on. The lecturers’ industrial experience was very useful and it helps that the class sizes are smaller than at university.”

Having decided to focus on civil engineering, James applied for an apprenticeship with BT. His application was successful and since March this year, he juggled coursework with his commitments as an apprentice planner with BT to complete first year of the Foundation Degree.

He says that being a student at Northern Regional College opened his eyes to the different career opportunities available. James now plans to finish his apprenticeship with BT and looking further ahead, hopes to complete a degree in Engineering.

Northern Regional College offers a wide range of full time and part time further and higher education courses. These include entry level courses right up to Foundation and Degree programmes, covering different vocational areas such as Construction, Engineering, Sport, Health & Social Care, Counselling, Computing and Business.

If you already know what subject you are interested in, you will find details of all the courses offered at the College on www.nrc.ac.uk but if you are undecided the College’s team of professional careers advisors are available on enrolment days and can guide you through the different options to choose a course that is best for you.

Enrolment days will be held at all campuses on Thursday August 16 (HE) and Thursday August 23 (FE/Training/Apprenticeships) from 9 am – 7 pm.

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