Lesley retired and moved to Italy where she took her love of art history online Monday, 08 November 2021

Lesley took early retirement in April 2020 and moved to Italy. Prior to that she had worked as an engineer for about 30 years in the UK and Azerbaijan. With a passion for art history and having completed a course in Art Appreciation with the Art Institute, Lesley was searching for A level History of Art when she came across the National Extension College.

Since reviewing options to study art history as an A level I have found communication with NEC extremely efficient.”

Living in Italy, Lesley had questions about the practicalities of studying with NEC but having spoken to our Student Recruitment Team upon enrolment, she was reassured that it would be possible.

“It has been a very long time since I left school (1987) and I remember my school days as positive with some very good and professional teachers. I left school with 9 O levels, 1 A/S level and 2 A levels. I studied Geology at Sheffield University (BSc 2:1) and Offshore Engineering at RGU (MSc with Distinction).”

Throughout her career as a Chartered Engineer, Lesley needed to actively participate in a programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) so understands the importance of lifelong learning.

Returning to education in 2021, she was impressed by the feedback from her tutor and “the variety of learning media (text, videos, activities and additional reading) used in the course materials.” Even though she is not intending to apply to university at this point, she has been impressed by the webinars run by NEC, particularly regarding university submissions (this video can be viewed on our Youtube channel).

So if she’s not planning to go to university, what does Lesley aim to gain from NEC’s A level History of Art course?

“To further understand the history and influences on the art and architecture I see everyday. It may lead me to taking up further studies but at this stage (5 months into the course) I am exploring the subject.”

Thinking about enrolling with NEC? Would Lesley recommend the experience?

“Yes! – I like the concept of online learning and so far I have been impressed with the quality of the material provided and the communications from NEC.”

Any advice on choosing which subjects to study at A level and beyond?

“One thing I think is very important in choosing a subject to study, it must be something which you are interested in and passionate about. Why do I say this? When I chose to study geology at university I hadn’t studied it before (as my school didn’t offer it as a subject) but I enjoyed physical geography as part of my A level so thought geology sounded like the subject for me. In my first year at university I saw so many friends leave their courses as they had chosen them based on what career they thought they wanted not necessarily based on a subject they enjoyed.”

Lesley’s story is one that highlights the joys of lifelong learning! This week (8th – 12th November) is Lifelong Learning Week brings together stakeholders from the learning and skills and employment sectors through a range of events and activities. If you are interested in attending NEC’s Showcase, you can register for a free ticket here*.

*If reading this after 9th November, the video can be watched back on our Youtube channel at any time.

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