This summer we will be exploring the range of programmes run through our University Centre, helping to explain the stories behind our offer and why studying at university level locally can be a great option for many people.
The next in our series explores the HND Computing course, run over two years at our Chippenham campus.
While previously studying A Levels at sixth form locally, James Belcher was made aware of the HND course at WCUC and the possibility of being able to enrol on a university-level IT course close to home. Now set to complete the two-year course this summer, James believes the independent nature of the programme’s learning approach has brought out the very best in him.
James explained: “I studied at sixth form in a school in Chippenham before I joined WCUC. I am really interested in computing and I was told about the HNC here, which I chose to do with the intention of staying on to do the HND. It is something I have wanted to do for quite a few years.
“I have really enjoyed going from that sixth form environment to the environment here on a university-level course. I think it is the best move I have made so far. The independence is definitely one of the best things about the course and it is a lot more flexible in terms of our workload as we aren’t told we have to do a set amount every day.
“Coming from sixth form where every day you are told that you have to do all these tasks within a certain timeframe it is really nice to have a structure that this is more flexible and where you are given the responsibility and trust of managing our own workload.”
Although James’ formal classroom-based studies are set to come to an end when the course concludes this summer, he still sees plenty of room for further learning and is looking at the prospect of starting an apprenticeship as his next step.
James explained: “I think the HND course has been great. It has taken the things I was taught in school and really expanded upon them. I think it has allowed me to build the skills that I will need for a career in IT.
“I have been having a look at apprenticeships as perhaps a next step for when we finish the course this summer. I have been looking at what is around that would suit me as I like the idea of starting to work but also being able to continue to expand my knowledge and skills at the same time.”
James’ classmate Ben Summers is coming to the end of his fourth year at WCUC, having initially enrolled on the two-year Level 3 IT course after completing his GCSEs in 2019 before progressing to the HNC and then HND programme.
“I have always been very interested in computing so at the time the Level 3 course was coming to an end to have the opportunity to carry on learning about something I have an interest in within an environment I am familiar with was an easy decision,” said Ben.
“I have really enjoyed the course and my overall knowledge in a lot of IT areas, like networking, have definitely improved. And I the structure here is a lot nicer than perhaps we would have got at a traditional university. It is a bit more chilled out and we have more time to focus on our own work.
“I haven’t got any firm plans for when I finish at the moment but the goal is to get a job in networking, that’s my main area of interest within IT.”
Find out more about the HND Computing here.