Nicholas is a familiar face at the college, having completed a full-time HNC in Sport, Fitness and Exercise with us in June of this year, as well as a professional cookery course a couple of years back. He recently finished his Cosca Certificate in Counselling Skills course at the college on a part-time basis. This allowed him to combine work – as a chef at St. Columba’s Hospice, where interacting with the patients developed his interest in counselling – with his passion for people and new pathways.
And, with the guidance of lecturers on the counselling programme, Nicholas has taken his new skills and knowledge on to a podiatry BSc at Queen Margaret University.
Nicholas, who moved to Scotland from South Africa in 2006, said: “Part-time study has definitely allowed me to explore my interests and because they are generally short courses it means you’re not tied down if you decide to go down a different path. I love the variety that college courses offer as well as the incentive that part-time study gives you to try out subjects that really excite you – that’s probably why I keep coming back.
We never finish learning and if it wasn’t for my past studies at Edinburgh College and getting the experience and qualifications I needed, I wouldn’t have gained access into university.
My part-time studies at the college went phenomenally well. I had already studied the body so I felt like the most natural thing to do next was study the mind with the counselling course. Part-time study is a really accommodating and manageable means of learning. There were 14 people in my class so it’s an intimate environment, which I like.
My lecturers on the counselling course were outstanding. They really went the extra mile and were instrumental in directing me to podiatry, having seen my love of working with people and patients.
Going back and studying after working full time is daunting and can be challenging but doing part-time study is the key to pull you through. I’m not sure what the future holds but right now I’m enjoying the process. It’s never too late.