Wiltshire College and University Center helps students succeed in their studies

A Wiltshire College and University Center student has been offered a place at Cambridge University after previously failing at school.

Elsa Campbell-O’Rourke 21 plans to study Psychological and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Cambridge in September 2023 once her grades are finalized.

Elsa said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and quite shocked. It’s been quite a difficult year of study, but the teachers at the College have been very helpful and their doors are always open if you need an explanation.”

The Diploma of Access to Higher Education helps people without traditional qualifications to continue their studies at university.

Elsa says: “I chose the Access to higher education course because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at university. I wanted to do something around psychology or social services, but I wasn’t sure what, and the science background of this course opened up several different areas of things I could do.

“I chose Psychological and Behavioral Sciences because it’s something that has always interested me since I started studying psychology during my GCSEs. My family has a history of mental health issues and I- same too, and I found it very interesting to study these things a little bit more deeply.”

Elsa is also interested in the forensic side of psychology and might consider doing a PhD afterward.

She has a young son and says the support she received from college has helped her balance family life and school.

She said: “The support has been amazing. The College was very accommodating in figuring out if I need to do a home conference if my son is sick or has something to do at nursery.

“And it’s also been a while since I’ve been in teaching, so it was a bit daunting, but the staff are always very supportive and happy to take the time if you have any questions.”

Elsa plans to move to London with her partner and son next year and wants to earn some money before going to college once her son is in school.

Sue Bailey, Lecturer in Access to Higher Education at the College’s Salisbury campus, said: “We are all extremely proud of Elsa’s achievement – the Cambridge application and interview process is particularly difficult. . Elsa showed admirable determination and thorough preparation throughout the process. We wish her well as she embarks on this exciting journey.

“Higher Education Access Courses offer adult learners the opportunity to progress through a wide range of academic and professional pathways.”

Anyone interested in higher education access courses can find out more about the website

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