Student Stories

What happens when there aren’t enough students to fill a classroom?

Every summer there are dismaying articles about the decline in modern foreign languages in schools. Not to mention the drop in language learning during…

Missing out on a September college start sparked new opportunities for aspiring doctor

Ubayd gained high grades in all ten of his GCSEs and was accepted into Luton Sixth Form College. However, due to family circumstances, he…

NEC In Conversation: Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards

It’s not every day that you get the chance to speak to a national treasure! Eddie the Eagle studied with the National Extension College…

Tina enrolled with NEC to pursue a teaching career. She enrolled her teenage son for GCSEs.

Tina chose to enrol with NEC in 2016 in order to gain the qualifications needed to access a career in teaching. “I wanted to…

Vita gained an offer from the University of Oxford after gaining an A level online with NEC

Motivated by her desire to study chemistry at undergraduate level, Vita realised that she would need to take A level Maths, particularly if she…

Try something new this year!

Throughout NEC’s history, many retired people have chosen to spend some of their new-found leisure time studying a subject that they’ve always been passionate…

Reaching for the stars with flexible online learning

Holly took the decision to leave mainstream education in Year 10 after struggling to cope in school. She has autism and suffered from anxiety…

Online A levels with NEC leads to BSc Political Science at University of Amsterdam

Mina started the International Baccalaureate but found that it didn’t afford her a lot of subject choice. Fitting the study schedule around her social…

Aspiring medic uses distance learning with NEC to prepare for her GCSEs from Ukraine

Sanya had been attending school in Edinburgh before the Covid-19 outbreak; the first five months she spent distance learning were more of an urgent…

Lesley retired and moved to Italy where she took her love of art history online

Lesley took early retirement in April 2020 and moved to Italy. Prior to that she had worked as an engineer for about 30 years…

Other articles...

NEC’s top courses for classics connoisseurs

The crowdfunded return of Time Team proves support for our interest in hidden histories. Although there has always been an interest in ancient history,…

Changing keys: from jazz guitar at a conservatoire to an engineering degree at the University of Sheffield

Toby left school with a string of A*s at GCSE, but the experience of suffering a bereavement during his exams led him to abandon…

Black History Month 2021: ideas for Family Learning Festival

Saturday, 16 October marks the start of this year’s Family Learning Festival and the midway point of Black History Month. As such, it’s a…

National Work Life Week 2021: finding time for professional development 

National Work Life Week, established by the not-for-profit Working Families, takes place every year between the 11th and 15th of October. It is a…

NEC moves house: bigger premises and a brighter future

The National Extension College (NEC) is delighted to announce its expansion and relocation to new premises in the village of Sawston, Cambridgeshire.  Since its…

National Poetry Day 2021: a whistle-stop tour through NEC English tutor Colin’s favourite poets and poems

Thursday, 7 October is National Poetry Day. To celebrate, we challenged NEC English tutor Colin to pick a favourite poem…  Phew! This is the…

The STEM home educator’s guide to navigating Biology Week and World Space Week

STEM educational weeks are only marginally better than buses: you wait for one and then suddenly it’s both Biology Week and World Space Week…

Rediscovering self-belief through A level History of Art

When NEC student Rosa decided to give herself a second chance at further education, it was not for lack of success the first time…

Why study A level Economics?

In March 2016, we published a blog post outlining the benefits of studying Economics or Business at A level. The points we made remain…

Common misperceptions of distance learning

One common misperception is that distance learning students teach themselves, simply watching videos online. However, our courses, whilst flexible in the time that you…