Access Diploma in Computing could be your route to University

Access Diploma in Computing could be your route to University
August, 2016
Facing redundancy or being unemployed can be a challenging time. However it can also indicate a new beginning, breaking the mould and trying something new.

Computers have become a huge part of our everyday lives, whether it is checking the weather forecast or sports results and fixtures or reviewing holiday destinations. We have become competent on computers in the last ten years and it is certainly not set to change. Computing is an industry which is constantly evolving and expanding, bringing with it new developments in medication, software and hardware.

Computing is a sought after career with options for all capabilities and talents. A computer is used on a daily basis, in all sectors such as, agriculture, retail, hairdressing and nursing.  Learners have vast options to choose from within computing whether its software programing or gaming there is a diverse pathway within computing to suit all requirements.

Majella McAleer, a full time mum of two from Loughmacrory, decided to go back to college part time to finish her computing course when her youngest child was starting school. Majella had started a HND in Belfast before her eldest child was born. She decided when her youngest son started school she would go back to studying and gain her qualification in computing.  

Majella expressed “it is a great course for anyone to do, as you do not need entry requirements, you have an interview with the lecturer, which isn’t as scary as you think. In first year you do core subjects in maths and English, which is a good refresher. We also completed a programming module, the lecturers are really helpful and provide a lot of support, more than I ever thought you would get”, Majella is looking forward to having more practical experience in her second year of the course. “I enjoy the practical side of things, coding and learning hardware and software skills”. Majella would like to progress to higher level apprentice where she can work and complete the foundation degree part time, and then hopefully on to full time employment.  

South West College Access Diploma in Computing Course is the only course in Northern Ireland to enable learners with no previous qualifications or experience to progress to higher education in computing. It gives applicants the opportunity to reskill regardless of their academic background; it is essentially a link to university for all ages. This course can be taken part time over two years or one year full time.  The course includes maths and communication modules of study which equate to GCSE English and maths. The course covers relevant hardware and software skills to those wishing to pursue careers in the Computing industry.

The key aim is of this type of course is to train Learners of all abilities to A-level equivalent in order to progress to Higher Education degree programmes or expand career opportunities.  A stepping stone to where you want to be. Through completing this course the learner will develop skills and knowledge in computing and have clarification of the route they wish to take in computing for the future.
Darren Grimes is currently working within an IT environment; he wants to gain more qualifications in IT. He researched course and thought Advanced Diploma in Computing was suitable to further education and enhance his current skills. “I enjoy the course, I wanted a wider knowledge of IT and the part time course is suitable so I can work and learn at the same time, especially as the college is local, the location makes studying easier”.

Andrew Darren McCallan, said he looked through South West College website for course ideas, computing was something he was interested in. A lecturer informed him of the course and he applied, Darren wants to enhance his education and go on to Higher education through university. He said “the course as it covers lots of topics, programming, software, databases and servers information. The wide variety of areas covered within the course enables students to decide the area of study they prefer and decide what they want to progress into.”
For more information on an Access Diploma in Computing, visit the South West College website or call in to the college and attend the open night Tuesday 30th August 2016, where you will have the opportunity to speak lecturers and course directors to receive advice on a suitable course for you. Your future starts here. 
Dungannon & Cookstown Campus
Sinead McGee, Curriculum Manager Technology 
Telephone: 0845 603 1881