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Student Case Study

Hairdressing student Elaine Gormley pictured with her model at the NWRC Halloween Hair Beauty Showcase1

Elaine Gormley

Course: BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Hairdressing

Meet Elaine, who is currently studying towards her Level 3 Diploma in Hairdressing certification to help facilitate her career ambition of becoming a hairdressing tutor.

Completing my Level 3 Diploma in Hairdressing is something I should have done years ago! I'd encourage any salon trained hairdresser to complete this course to enhance their skills, or anyone considering a career in this industry.

What is your previous education?

My name is Elaine Gormley, I am originally from Derry, and now living just outside Strabane.

Prior to joining NWRC I completed IT Level 2 in Spreadsheet Software 2 and Level 2 in Word Processing Software to increase my confidence in IT in 2018. I also studied with the Open University and obtained certificates in Social Science and Economics.

I had left school with very little education. I always wanted to be a hairdresser and so the traditional academic education didn’t really factor in my priorities.

I have been studying with NWRC over the last two years, completing my HND in Hair and Beauty Management with a Distinction. As part of my personal and professional development, I also completed Essential Skills Maths and English.

I also completed a Child Protection and Safeguarding course online with Global Horizon skills.


Tell us a bit more about your experience at NWRC

The experience I have had at the College has been amazing. The tutors I have, offered, and still offer great support and encouragement, helping me to develop and grow- and I look back and can clearly see my growth and development!

I am really enjoying being back at College and completing my NVQ Level 3 in Hairdressing - something I should have done years ago! I would encourage any salon-trained hairdresser to come back and complete this qualification to enhance their skills, or anyone considering a career in this industry. It is a career with many opportunities, not just salon based. It has ignited creativity and confidence and ability in me, I have been involved in many photoshoots for well-known businesses, to create their advertising content.


What did you enjoy most about your course?

As part of the NVQ Level 3 Hairdressing course, we had to plan and create a themed model as part of the photoshoot to create marketing content for the Derry and Strabane City Council's annual Halloween event.

I loved the challenge and the creative freedom it offered. I really enjoyed working alongside so many highly skilled, like-minded, creative people.

Model pictured at the NWRC Halloween Hair & Beauty Showcase, 2021.
Model pictured at the NWRC Halloween Hair & Beauty Showcase, 2021.


What are your plans for the future?

I undertook my Level 3 Diploma in Hairdressing to certify my many years’ experience in all aspects of Hairdressing, and to facilitate my career ambition of becoming a tutor in hairdressing. Completing the course will be an emotional, but proud moment as I will have completed my planned cycle of learning (PPD) to help me moving forward with my career goals.

Looking back, the College has definitely been the supportive springboard that made my learning experience very positive. I have achieved so much in the last two years, much more than even I thought possible.


Would you recommend NWRC to other students?

My advice to anyone out there thinking about developing their career or jumping into a new one is just go for it! Take the learning journey with NWRC, you won’t be disappointed.

Follow in Elaine's Footsteps

Make your mark with a course that excites you, challenges you, and prepares you for career success.

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