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The BTEC Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma prepared me well for my dream career.

15 March 2023
Student emma in nurses uniform


Emma Miller



Where are you from?


Previous Education before you came to NWRC?

Studied at Limavady High School and gained three GCSE’s in ICT, German and English Literature.

Why did you choose to study at NWRC instead of doing A-Levels?

I decided to study at North West Regional College as my dream career was to study Adult Nursing at University but I did not achieve GCSE maths at secondary school to apply straight away, so I came to NWRC to study the Level 3 BTEC in Health and Social Care.

Tell me about your course at NWRC

I studied the BTEC level 3 Health and Social care in 2018 which was equivalent to three A levels. I thoroughly enjoyed the modules taught on this course, they prepared me well for taking on a degree in Nursing and were of great significance to the modules taught on the nursing degree. I completed this course with an overall grade of D*D*D* which is the same as 3 A*s at A level. I achieved an award at the Millenium Forum for academic achievement achieving top grades in June 2019 which I was very proud of.

Alongside doing this course I needed to achieve a qualification in Maths to enable me to apply for university which is my biggest weakness. I applied to study GCSE maths night classes to obtain the qualification, I sat exams in February 2019 to do this but was not successful. I had finished the course at this stage so I decided I would take on a further additional two courses that would boost my university application while aiming to get my maths qualification, I applied to study level 3 emergency first aid and a course in Phlebotomy which are two essential skills that are required in nursing. I also applied to study essential skills maths one day a week to which I became successful in achieving the qualification in March 2020 and had my place secured to study Adult nursing at Ulster University Magee campus In May 2020 and started the course in September 2020.

Did you take part in any work-based learning/work placements as part of your course?

Yes I took part in a work experience placement in 2018 as part of the course to gain the valuable skills and experiences that are required If I was to take on further studies. My work placement took place in a busy surgical ward in a local hospital were I got to see the life of a nurse on a daily basis which inspired and made me even more passionate to take on a career in nursing.

What did you do afterwards?

After completing my courses at NWRC, I then began studying a degree in Adult Nursing at the University of Ulster, Magee Campus. It is a three year degree with valuable modules and work placements that enable me to gain the knowledge, skills and experiences to become a registered nurse. The course is very challenging and has a heavy workload but somehow I have managed well, If you want something enough you are prepared to do what it takes. I am now in my final year of the degree, with approximately 5 months left to qualify. I finish the course in August 2023 with my graduation ceremony taking place in December 2023.

Would you recommend this course to other students?

I would highly recommend the BTEC level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma to other students as it prepared me well for my dream career. The lecturers at NWRC have been nothing short of amazing in terms of support and helping me to prepare for University with personal statements and interviews and I will be forever grateful for the part they played in boosting my support and confidence in getting me where I am today. If I could do this with many struggles in my way I am sure anyone else can. Remember your grades don’t define you!!


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