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Students studying on Bath College’s Access to Higher Education programme have secured their dream place at university.
 

The programme provides students with a qualification, allowing them to progress and study at degree or diploma level.
 

For many students, who have changed profession to follow a new career, studying on the programme has been life-changing.
 

Several of this year’s students are going on to study nursing, midwifery, paramedic science, diagnostic imaging, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and operating department practice (ODP).
 

Jasmin Elmes, from Radstock, decided to change career after caring for her granddad when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
 

The 26-year-old worked in banking before the course and has a place to study adult nursing at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).
 

She said: “When my granddad got diagnosed with terminal cancer it changed my outlook on life.
 

“I wanted a career that would be fulfilling and that my children can be proud of. I’m confident but I doubt myself, I didn’t think I would get a university place and I have.
 

“I’m just hoping to make a difference. Even if it’s the worst situation, the way you are with the family can make a real difference.”
 

The Access to Higher Education programme is aimed at mature students who have been out of full-time education.
 

Students study for a diploma in either health and social care, education, science, humanities or social science.
 

In most cases, students need to have a grade C GCSE English and maths qualification – which are also available to study at Bath College.
 

Student Tom Causer, 29, wants to become a paramedic and has an offer to study paramedic science at UWE Bristol.
 

He said: “I spent ten years working in IT and it got to the point where it wasn’t fulfilling. I was at the scene of an accident and I saw the paramedics doing what they do – that’s what kicked it all off.
 

“The course has been great for getting me used to academic writing, because it’s very different from writing reports for my old job.
 

“I’ve really enjoyed getting back into studying. Now I have an aim and I know where I want to go. It’s a big change, but at the end of the day it’s worth it.”
 

Harriet Owen, 28, from Bath, also has a place at UWE Bristol to study occupational therapy.
 

She said: “I have a four-year-old son and I was working as a health assessor for seven years. I wanted to do a bit more for me and for him as well.
 

“I have personally found it quite stressful being a single mum with a four-year-old, but there’s been a lot of support and the tutors have been really encouraging.
 

“There’s nothing else like this which allows you to get to university, it’s definitely worth it.”
 

Course coordinator Carolyn Guy said: “It’s great to see another cohort of Access to Higher Education students graduate from college and progress to study for degrees in the health sector, as well as a huge range of other subjects.
 

“They are academically well prepared and looking forward to the next stage in their careers. The access team has enjoyed working with students from diverse backgrounds and supporting the interesting range of ambitions they pursue.”
 

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