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Read what students and alumni have to say

To demonstrate just how proud we all are of your success, we have created the Awards of Achievement, which are awarded annually to our ten most oustanding students.

The winners get back half the cost of their course fees!

The tutors on this course were incredibly supportive and knowledgeable - Tracey Gordon

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I started the Access to HE Diploma English (Humanities) last year in order to gain access to a BA in English literature.

Being well over 40 and out of education for decades meant that I was nervous about doing this course to say the least. I had to juggle full-time work and single parenthood and was unsure if I would succeed.

In order to realize my dream, to progress into teaching, I had to bite the bullet and actually believe in my abilities and worth. The tutors on this course were incredibly supportive and knowledgeable and I can now look forward to more success in my degree course and inspire my own children along the way. I am now closer to realising my dream. (Nov 2017)

I never felt alone or pressured. No question was too small and no email went unanswered - Emma

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When I decided to consider a degree in Midwifery I felt daunted. Not only did I need outstanding grades in my health access course, but I needed to be well prepared for the scientific aspect of the role. I initially doubted that I could raise a toddler, work full-time in an unrelated career, gain the work experience I needed for my personal statement AND achieve the 45 distinctions that my chosen University was asking for.

I knew I'd need a lot of support, and even more flexibility. DistanceLearningCentre.com was immediately recommended to me by many other mature student midwives. Initially a little nervous about online learning, the option to fit my studies around work and home life - at half the cost and time of a college based course - suited me perfectly.

When I began my first unit, I was simultaneously returning to work, full time, following maternity leave. Like so many other mums, I'd completely lost my confidence and was dealing with the guilt of leaving my little boy in child care. Starting my Access course by completing the ungraded units was invaluable. I could test my skills and build up my knowledge without worrying it would impact my final grade. When I started seeing the ungraded unit marks roll in, which suggested that for graded units I would be likely to achieve Distinctions, my self-esteem soared and by the time it came to starting my marked units, I felt I'd really settled into the course. Of course, it wasn't easy - I'd work 10 hour days, spend time with my son, then work into the early hours - but with my tutors on the end of the phone I never felt alone.

Although I was completing my course slowly, I settled well into my new routine well over the first 6 months. I started volunteering in the local postnatal unit and the unit content for my course was so reflective of real life that I found I could apply my learning straight away. Especially units such Ethics and the way they linked into restraint protocols on the ward. Life was busy, I was exhausted, but I carried on maximising the materials and tutor support and really felt I was on a roll.

I was halfway through my course where my resilience was truly tested. Having grown up with my grandma I was determined to spend the 4 harrowing days by her bedside whilst she slowly passed away. Alone and completely unprepared for how undignified and cruel that process would be I left the hospice not only traumatised, but convinced that my midwifery dreams would slip away if I couldn't pull myself together quick enough to complete my course. My fears were my own however, as my tutor was incredibly supportive and flexible to my needs. As I extended deadlines time and time again I thought their patience would waiver, but I never felt under pressure or silly for asking the simplest questions. This came at the same time as the university admissions process - and I had been invited to interviews at all 5 universities. Not only was I desperately grieving, but I was also trying to prepare myself for rounds of weekend interviews for which only 10% of applicants get a place. Again, I was supported in fitting my coursework around these events.

A couple of months later I'd received conditional offers to all the universities I attended and I really got back into the rhythm of the course. Sadly, I was devastated when we were diagnosed with serious fertility issues that turned our family's vision of the future upside down. I felt that, yet again, I was sending apologies to my tutor - but they weren't needed. Rounds of medical appointments ensued but the course was so flexible I could take carry my materials round on my iPad and do my tutorials in the car.

12 months into the course and, as it does, life was getting back on track. I was ready to start flying through to the end of the course. It was in that month, however, that we found out I was pregnant (much to everyone's surprise!). Dubious, but somewhat hopeful, it was a lengthy process which resulted in us losing the baby. Dedication to my access course and future career all hung in the balance. At that moment, I had nothing left to give.

Figuratively speaking, it's no exaggeration when say that my last tutor all but dragged me to the finish line, and I will be forever thankful. When, miraculously I found out I was pregnant again shortly after, but that one of our twins was unlikely to survive, I clung onto the stability the course was offering. Continuing to achieve distinctions helped to start rebuilding my confidence but I was really questioning my ability to carry on delivering.

I am delighted to say that, in the end, it was the kind words and support of my tutors that means my journey finishes on a far happier note. Not only did I finish my Access course within 18 months, but I was awarded 45 Distinctions and a further 15 ungraded Credits. Whilst sadly, one of my twins miscarried shortly after I completed the course, I remain 22 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby. When I looked back I see that I never really gave up on myself and my tutors were always there to reinforce my determination. With my certificate firmly in my hand it leaves me free to pursue my career change and a time that's right for me.

The materials and structure of the Access course were outstanding but it was the flexibility and support from my DistanceLearningCentre.com tutors that really pulled me through. I never felt alone or pressured. No question was too small and no email went unanswered. I will always be grateful to them for their approach in helping me build the foundation for my future career. (Jun 2018)