Our News

2 July 2012

Access student off to Oxford Uni

Twenty-one year old Ross Maidment from Cardiff always wanted to go to university but having left school after his GCSEs to work in a call centre he didn't have the qualifications. Now, having successfully completed an Access to Humanities course at Cardiff and Vale College, he has a place to study at one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Ross explained “I left school at 16 in order to work full time and to do missionary work. I went to Romania in 2008 and worked at an orphanage in Serbia in 2010 teaching English. Working gave me the chance to move away from home to live with a friend. I never broke away from study completely, and in 2008 completed an IT course as Ystrad Mynach College and studied for AS English Literature at Coleg Glan Hafren on an evening course in 2009 whilst working.

“I always wanted to go to university but as I left school to work, didn't have the qualifications. After I learned about the Access to Humanities with Teacher Training course, it seemed the perfect opportunity to return to learning as a route to university.

“After discussing the course with the tutor I was impressed by the level of support available in the Learning Centre to help to improve key skills.”

The Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma is a qualification which prepares students for study at university. It is designed for people who would like to study in HE but who left school without the usual qualifications, such as A levels. The Access to Humanities with Initial Teacher Training course covers Literary Studies, Urban Geography and History as well as the core subjects of Numeracy, Information Technology, Communications Study Skills and Biology.

Ross wanted to study Theology at university and having attained a Distinction, the highest grade possible, in most of his units he now has a confirmed place at the University of Oxford to study a Bachelor of Theology (BTh).

Ross also has offers from Bristol University, Cardiff University and The University of Wales Trinity Saint David. He hopes to continue his studies to Masters level with a long-term goal of teaching theology and working with the Church.

Ross continued: “The way that the course has been structured has been excellent preparation for university. The study skills sessions have also been really helpful in providing tips on essay writing, research and how to work in exams.

“The best thing about college is the great staff and support which helped make it easy to return to study. My course tutor, Sal Willets, has been amazing - she has been enthusiastic throughout, which has kept me engaged, and is always there for support, even replying to emails during half term!”