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The Fab 5 Awards August 2015

For outstanding achievement on DistanceLearningCentre.com Access to Higher Education Diplomas, whether academic or personal.

The Awards are open to any student who achieves a full Access to Higher Education Diploma with DistanceLearningCentre.com. One set of Awards are made in August each year.

Award winners won back the full cost of their Access Diploma course fees in recognition of their exceptional achievements.

Geraldine Avis - Winner August 2015


I have wanted to become a mental health nurse for many years even though I have had a successful career in finance. I decided to get the required qualifications and came across the Distance Learning Centre website and really liked the look of the course with its balance between psychology and biology and decided to do the access course which I commenced in April 2014.

I had a demanding job in finance at the time and couldn't afford to give up work and so knew I would have to be disciplined and motivated to complete the course in my spare time but the course had the flexibility to enable me to do that while still working.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the course although I found it quite challenging, requiring a lot of motivation and self discipline but I have learned a lot and found it very well organised with excellent and interesting study modules. Both my tutors were supportive, knowledgeable and quick to come back with answers to queries. They gave excellent feedback and understanding of what was expected to enable me to improve.

From around October onwards I had a lot of personal issues to deal with and my tutors were both helpful, supportive, giving me practical help and without their support I would not have completed the course, with as many distinctions as I achieved. I would recommend distance learning centre course to anyone who wants to gain an access course to enter university.

Feb 2017 update: Geraldine commenced study for a three year BSc in Mental Health Nursing at Birmingham City University in January 2016. She has successfully completed her first year and has just started her second year. "I am thoroughly enjoying the course and wished I had done this years ago. The distance learning diploma really prepared me for this course with the biology and psychology modules and I am really glad that I used this route for entry to my degree course."

Paul Curley - Winner August 2015


Its funny were a phone call can take you. As an ambulance technician wishing to make the leap to paramedic, I was directed to DistanceLearningCentre.com by student services at University of Central Lancashire. Having left school just over a quarter of a century ago, I found the whole process daunting, having no formal education since 1988. My initial contacts with DistanceLearningCentre.com left me with no uncertainty as to the personal sacrifice required, but I wanted to be a paramedic so I enrolled.

The guidance I received from DistanceLearningCentre.com was excellent. I gradually built my confidence and knowledge in coursework that was full of guidance and direction. Both tutors assigned to me were delightful, informative, and helped me when necessary. Commencement of study was met with production of a personal study planner which was very effective in providing structure to the course as well as deadlines and personal targets to aim for.

DistanceLearningCentre.com is a tremendous tool for self development and to gaining a recognised qualification. It is excellently structured with interesting topics and I have been able to fit around work and home life, and there is always time for the wife and kids. The sacrifices of stress, expense and time devoted to study are worthwhile when the university offers start appearing on UCAS. This course has equipped me with confidence and ability to take on a 3 year BSc at 44 years of age and I have already recommended DistanceLearningCentre.com to family members.

Phil Poskitt - Winner August 2015


Having been out of education for more than 5 years, I felt a little anxious about getting back into studying. It took me a lot of time & thought to decide on what I wanted to do as a career. After much research and experience through volunteering, I aspired to study Paramedicine at University.

I had applied previously to study Paramedicine at University; unfortunately I wasn't successful. My feedback was due to not having recent evidence of academic study and a lack of relevant experience. I knew a lot about the role & had met with several Paramedics to talk about their career, but universities really wanted to know that I would be able to fulfil this role, that I was a mature & responsible person, caring, compassionate and had the ability to cope with the possible stresses of a highly demanding course.

Over the last year, I gained a whole wealth of experience through a range of voluntary positions; I also started & completed my Access to HE Diploma (Nursing, Midwifery & Healthcare Professions) through DistanceLearningCentre.com. I only have great things to say about them. All of the staff have been incredibly friendly & helpful, the other students have been great to talk with, and most importantly - the course has been enjoyable all the way. Not only have I thoroughly enjoyed taking this course & learnt a wealth of information (on top of full-time work & volunteering), this course has helped me to secure a place at university for September this year. My aspirations have finally become real!

...And to those thinking that they could never go back to doing a course (to further themselves academically or to help achieve their aspirations of a particular career), it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. All I can say is a big thank you to everyone!

Jan 2017 update: Phil is in his final year of his Paramedic Practice course at Sheffield Hallam University. He only has a couple more weeks of the actual university aspect of things; then only a period of placement to get his hours up before signing off as a qualified Paramedic under registration of the HCPC!

Phil's pure passion and interest in prehospital care has led him to specialise in the areas he enjoys the most. He is now working towards achieving a Diploma in 12-Lead ECG Interpretation with the SCST (Society for Cardiological Science & Technology). He has also recently been asked to go back to Sheffield Hallam as a qualified Paramedic to assist in teaching the ECG modules.

Nicola Theaker - Winner August 2015


After discovering that my qualifications were too archaic to apply for a midwifery degree, I found the DistanceLearningCentre.com website. The home page and information was easy to follow, offered the course I needed and listed all the universities that had accepted their students; I quickly applied.

Despite the warm welcome, the Access Course has been no easy task. The depth and breadth needed for good grades was challenging but it encourages study and research to a high level which I was fascinated with. The tutors' encouragement and support enables you to build confidence, a learning style and deal with personal crises or academic struggles. And when they are not there at 2am and weekends, the forum is brimming with topics and students helping each other. Help with UCAS was also an invaluable part of the package.

I found keeping a routine of learning and producing assignments along with weekly tutor contact got me through the tough level 3 assessments enabling me to achieve a complete distinction portfolio and offers from the universities I applied to. I have learnt a great deal about myself as a learner as well as the subjects.

I would recommend DistanceLearningCentre.com to anyone who asks and say 'Don't wait'. Life throws all sorts at you; it did to me, as well as looking after 3 young children which necessitated mainly late night studies. Planning in rest and catch up days meant a study/life balance that was manageable whilst achieving my aspirations!

Nov 2017 update: I am now a 3rd year midwifery student at the University of Central Lancashire. The course is interesting as it uses Case Based Learning (CBL) to teach, which means that different topics are introduced and a scenario including elements of the topic is 'revealed'. The course is 50/50 uni and placement time, arranged in blocks. I really love my time out on placements, the people I have cared for are amazing, the mentors are lovely pacing learning which promotes skills and knowledge. Some days (night shifts) are mega busy.

I still do a lot of study into the night after the kids are in bed, sustained by coffee, but that can wait; I'm loving it and the end of the course is in sight. Pursue your dreams - I have and so glad I took this path. The DistanceLearningCentre.com support really prepared me for the studying.

Patience Waddup - Winner August 2015


First I would like to thank the tutors who nominated me to this award. This is emotional for me as the journey hasn't been easy.

Growing up poor, with little education and being the 1st person in my family entering higher education was challenging. I always worked very hard as a care assistant. As a single mum and a carer I managed to save money to complete a Diploma. I always wanted to be a social worker because of my childhood experience, therefore I knew completing a Diploma would help me to achieve and gain a place at university.

As a mature student it was difficult to start again from scratch, and I was worried, but was determined to achieve this goal. Sleepless nights studying, working full time, and a single mother was really a challenge. Tutors were helpful after the death of my closest family member as I nearly gave up studying, they kept me going with immense support and encouragement. Because of this support I managed to carry on as it showed their human nature of caring for students.

My experience with DistanceLearningCentre.com is one journey I'll never forget. "Follow Your Dreams". The course was well structured and clear to understand the requirements. The tutors were were all extremely supportive, and were there whenever I needed help. Emailing in the middle of the night receiving response in 24hours was exceptional. The support was great through emails,phone calls, or Skype. This boosted my confidence and to put extra effort in my work. All the children assignments reminded me of my childhood and why I wanted to be a social worker. These topics helped in my interviews to get a place at University which I'm still grateful of.

Now I'm the 1st person in my whole family to enter University. I am thankful to DistanceLearningCentre.com and their exceptional Tutors. I would not hesitate to give my testimony or recommend them to anyone. But the most testimony is how DistanceLearningCentre.com are supportive and help to learn the best way. After my experience, I actually think students should be allowed to nominate tutors as well.

I started my social work BA (Hons) in October 2014. Thank you very much for the support, this goes a long way. My life and my children's lives will change forever and setting a good example. I'm writing this with tears in my eyes. Words alone are not enough and cannot describe. THANK YOU.

Una Ncube - Ascentis David J Moore Memorial Bursary 2015


From the Ascentis student nominees for our Fab 5 we entered one of students for the Ascentis David J Moore Memorial Bursary where each of the winners receive £200. We are very please to announce that our entry won the one of the bursaries as shown below:

  • Danielle Pratt, Burnley College
  • Kiernan Cunningham, Burnley College
  • Unobuhle Ncube, Distance Learning Centre
  • Samantha Shelvin, Riverside College
  • Asaf Khan, Shipley College
  • Anto Lodge Osbourne, Shipley College
All winners have received a certificate and cheque with congratulations from Ascentis and from the DLC.