A Day in the Life of a UCM Student

As Whitney Houston (and George Benson before her) said, ‘I believe the children are our future’… 

With that beauty ringing in our ears, we were delighted to meet up with 19-year-old Molly, who is in training to nurture the next generation of Manxies who will ‘lead the way’. Molly is in the final year of her two-year Level 3 Childcare and Education course at University College Isle of Man (UCM), and she sat down to tell us more about the academic, social and vocational delights UCM has to offer. 

A Day in the Life

Following her GCSEs, Molly headed to Liverpool to study dance – until Covid hit. Molly then moved back to the Isle of Man, where she was given the opportunity to reassess her future and have a think about what she really wanted from her career. Having always had an interest in working with children, she began her studies in Childcare and Education at UCM.

Vocational training is delivered in real working environments so that students can learn skills in a blended format, tailored to their individual strengths. For childcare students, the on-site Little Explorers Nursery at the Homefield Road campus, offers direct experience in planning fun and engaging activities for children aged 0-2, giving students like Molly the opportunity to develop practical skills.

Over the last two years, Molly has undertaken four placements: two in a nursery and two in a primary school setting. 

Lessons are led by lecturers who are knowledgeable and experienced within primary education and peadeatric health, meaning they can offer practical advice and guidance, as well as giving students a fantastic educational experience. 

What does Molly’s daily timetable look like?

As the course enters its last few months, Molly’s class timetable has reduced as she prepares for her final assessments and exams. The course was structured around two days of studying from 9am to 4pm, two days a week working within a private nursery or a primary school, and time working within the Little Explorers Nursery. 

Molly often used UCM’s Hall Caine Library in the Homefield Road campus to knuckle down with her coursework, a fantastic space with work pods and bookable study rooms. The multi-purpose library offers quieter areas alongside spaces for more collaborative work, making it fit for both group and individual study. There’s even some individual chill out zones which give students space to reflect and relax. 

Balance and Support

While her studies can be full on, the structure has allowed Molly to lead a full and balanced life – and save money by working alongside her studies, and living at home! Molly holds a management position at Castletown eatery, Secret Pizza, and keeps her toe in the performing arts world by teaching dance lessons.

While education at UCM encourages independence and self-motivation, the support from tutors and pastoral care from Student Services is also excellent. As Molly prepares for higher education, tutors have also helped her with the completion of her UCAS application. She knows her lecturers are only an email away and regularly receives one-on-one support throughout her studies.

Course tutors really get to know their students to ensure they can offer individual support. Molly’s Course Tutor, Hillary Kermeen said: “Molly has been a very diligent student who has managed her studies alongside many other commitments. She has demonstrated competency in her work placements and will be an asset to any organisation. We have all really enjoyed teaching Molly as she is receptive and genuinely passionate about the subject. We wish her all the very best in her future studies.” 

What has Molly learned?

Molly has been most impressed with the scope of the Childcare and Education course, which covers areas including language development, psychology and primary teaching. With this variety, she has found that her options leading into a future career are broader, which is an ideal solution if, like Molly, you’re not quite ready to pick one specialism just yet. In any case, her time at UCM has given Molly the right skills to enter the workforce, if she does decide to jump straight into employment.

Using the practical and theoretical knowledge gained from her course, Molly hopes to go onto further education to continue her studies. Molly’s goal is to move into mental health nursing and is excited that she’s been offered a place at Keyll Darree. With a solid foundation gained through her time at University College Isle of Man, Molly’s future certainly looks bright.

https://www.ucm.ac.im

Beyond the world-leading training and education options on offer at UCM, there’s plenty more to entice students, like full-service restaurant, Cristory’s, serving themed lunches, á la carte and set menu options. Hair and Beauty salon, Synnova, offers quality products and hands-on training from qualified industry professionals. New friends can also catch up and chill out at the newly-refurbished #2, and grab an energy-boosting homemade cake at the Annie Gill Coffee Bar.