With the help of the staff at NWRC, I applied for a midwifery degree at Queen's University Belfast and adult nursing at Ulster University. I received an offer for both degrees, and I ultimately chose to pursue midwifery. I started in September 2021, and I'm loving it!Kirsty BurkeAccess Diploma Graduate and now a student midwife
Where are you from?
Course studied at NWRC?
Access course in Health and Welfare.
Previous Education before you came to NWRC?
I went to school at Foyle College, and I left with my GCSEs and 3 A Levels. After school, I went to Ulster University to study Business Studies, but after 18 months, I knew it wasn't the course for me, and I left to pursue full-time work. I'd been out of education for 13 years when I decided to reapply to university, so the access course was perfect.
Why did you choose to study at NWRC?
I'd heard about the course through others who were already doing it, and I realised how much I'd enjoy it. I looked into it further, and I loved the fact that there was a part-time option, so I could study over 2 years instead of 1. The course offered modules that would help my application to the University. The teaching staff and support staff, such as the careers staff, were so supportive, too.
Tell me about your course.
The health and welfare course is great at offering a holistic overview of health, which really lends itself well to degrees such as midwifery and nursing. The course contains modules in Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Research, Health and Welfare and Maths. All of these modules have really helped me with my degree so far. The course is offered on a full-time and part-time basis. As I have a young family, I decided that part-time would suit us best; this meant I completed it over 2 years. This resulted in a better study/life balance for me, especially as my time on the course was impacted severely by the pandemic, and I was home schooling my two older children while also studying myself.
What did you do afterwards?
With the help of the staff at NWRC, I applied for a midwifery degree at Queen's University Belfast and adult nursing at Ulster University. I received an offer for both degrees, and I ultimately chose to pursue midwifery. I started in September 2021, and I'm loving it!
What interested you in this career?
Midwifery has always been a career that I knew I'd love to do, but this was cemented when I had my own children, and I saw the care I received. As a midwife, we are there to support women through the most exciting, happy, anxious, and sometimes the saddest time of their lives. Midwifery is such a fast-paced job and one in which you're constantly learning.
Would you recommend this course to other students?
Yes, I really would. As a mature student, it can be intimidating to start a new course. However, on an access course, all of the students are considered 'mature', so you don't feel alone in starting over. The course gave me a solid understanding of academic writing, referencing, and the research methods used for my degree. The staff were supportive and really helped with my personal statement, the UCAS process, and the interview stage. I wouldn't be doing my dream degree without starting at NWRC first.