Sixth form isn’t for everyone, and choosing another path doesn’t have to mean the end of your education journey. Opting to study at University College Isle of Man (UCM), is a great alternative to continue learning but in a more grown-up environment, all while teaching you important skills in order to take your next steps into adulthood.
UCM not only gives students course tutors with experience in that area of work, ensuring they are well prepared to enter the workforce, but also tailored career support for that all-important next phase of your life.
We met up with 17-year-old UCM student Jason, currently studying towards his Level 2 Business, Administration and IT qualification. Having left high school last year, he had a big decision to make: pursue his A levels via sixth form, or see what UCM had to offer (spoiler: he chose the latter).
A Day in the Life
A keen interest in Business, Administration and IT drove Jason to enrol on the University College’s Level 3 course. While he didn’t quite make the GCSE grades for this particular pathway, Jason was able to pursue the Level 2 GCSE-equivalent course, giving him the ability to undertake studies in a subject which interested him, as well as the opportunity to obtain his vital Maths GCSE. A win-win!
What does his daily timetable look like?
Jason enjoys around sixteen hours of in-class study a week, with each lesson lasting about two hours. As with all UCM courses, he only needs to be on campus during scheduled hours, meaning that on some days, he doesn’t start his day until 10:30am. That kind of lie-in is a luxury for a 17-year-old!
The flexibility of the course structure allows students to attend classes, complete their coursework independently (with plenty of support when it’s needed of course), work and pursue a healthy social life alongside their studies.
Students are encouraged to undertake independent learning and utilise learning spaces around UCM to study online and independently.
Over lunch and breaks Jason enjoys some well-earned downtime at the newly-refurbished ‘#2’ canteen, equipped with games consoles and relaxing sofas, or can grab a coffee with friends in the Annie Gill Coffee Bar.
What has Jason learned?
While the knowledge he is directly gaining from the qualification will help him in whatever future path he chooses (a GCSE pass grade in Maths is a requirement for most jobs), Jason has found that he has grown up a lot during his time at UCM. Being in an environment with people from diverse backgrounds and different life experiences, has enabled Jason to develop a greater understanding of how other people function and see the world.
All students have access to the Student Services team, who are available during term time to provide specialist support, information, advice and guidance.
What kind of support has Jason been given?
With small class sizes, lecturers can tailor lesson planning around the individual needs and learning styles of their students. Jason has found that his lecturers are only an email away if he has any worries or questions about his studies.
Going into an ever-changing, fast paced industry, Jason needs to be equipped with the most up-to-date skills and knowledge. Tutor’s keep on top of industry trends and organisations in the IT community regularly get involved with the students to make sure that students are ready for this exciting industry, both here on the Island and further afield.
Once he has completed his course, Jason hopes to join the Navy, and thanks to his decision to study at University College Isle of Man, he now has all of the skills needed to pursue his dream career path.