Amy had been working shifts in the care sector and wanted to apply for a degree in medicine. She didn’t leave school with quite the right qualifications for her dream course, and needed to gain some extra GCSEs. Her decision to enrol with NEC as a provider was based on the flexibility it offered to fit around her busy schedule:

“I worked shifts so I made time on off days or before work to work little by little. My old boss didn’t mind as long as I completed my paid work!”

Although this was her first time trying out distance learning, she dived right in with four GCSE courses: English Language, Maths, Biology and Chemistry. On each assignment, her tutors provided support by targeting specific areas of improvement as she went along. The cancellations of exams in 2020 and 2021 created additional stress, but NEC was able to use its status as an examination centre to provide Teacher Assessed Grades. 

“I left school with reasonable GCSEs, but not strong enough ones to apply to study the course I want to. Now that I have my grade 7/8/9’s, I can apply confidently.“

Amy is now equipped with the great GCSEs she needs to achieve her goals, but she says that she’d return to NEC to study a further course if the need ever arose. She’d advise anyone else considering distance learning to “take the marathon not sprint attitude”, reflective of the hard work involved and the tangible rewards at the end. She is on the next step of her journey and now works in NHS commissioning.

NEC is often the first step towards studying medicine or nursing at university. Our Career Tracks guides offer specific information about how to become a nurse, midwife or paramedic. Many of our students have already embarked on their medical journeys:

  • Darius studied A level Biology in a year through our Structured Fast Track option. He went on to gain a place on Swansea University’s Medicine (Graduate Entry) undergraduate programme, an innovative accelerated four-year medical degree.
  • Mohammed studied 7 GCSEs with NEC and achieved high grades in all of them, overcoming the challenge of having partially impaired vision. He is now studying A levels at his local college and intends to apply for a degree in medicine and specialise in cardiology.
  • Kayleigh balanced full-time study at her local performing arts college while taking A level Biology in a year with NEC so that she could reorientate herself towards nursing.

If you work for the NHS and would like to embark on a course with NEC, we offer a 10% discount* on our online distance learning courses, in support and recognition of the vital work NHS members of staff perform. If you fit this profile, speak with a member of our Student Recruitment Team on 0800 389 2839 to learn more.

*T&Cs apply. Visit this page for further information.

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