Gabrielle Aplin Gabrielle Aplin Singer-songwriter

Gabrielle Aplin


Our homegrown star’s rise to the top


From YouTube star to fully-fledged recording artist, via two albums and a very special Christmas single, Gabrielle Aplin has come a long way from recording music videos in her bathroom.


This local girl and former Bath College student has just released her second album, Light Up The Dark, to critical acclaim and is in the midst of a national tour.


Gabrielle’s musical talent goes back to age 11, when she was bought her first guitar, but it was during her time at Bath College that her career began to really take off. So, how did she go from studying music to performing with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Gotye?


Bath College and beyond


Gabrielle enrolled on a music course at Bath College and wasted no time in getting involved with our in-house record label, BA1 Records.


“When I went to Bath College I studied the music business. I like being able to understand that side of things,” she told Digital Spy.


It was during her time at Bath College that she started uploading videos to her YouTube channel, gathering legions of fans in the process.


By 2010 she’d amassed millions of hits online, earning her an invitation onto BBC Wiltshire ahead of the release of her first EP.


Her big break(s)


Gabrielle’s appearance on BBC Wiltshire was heard by Radio One, who invited her to perform at the famous Maida Vale studios as part of BBC Introducing.


“It was absolutely amazing. It’s such an old studio as well, it was like stepping into a time capsule. I recorded three of my own songs and a cover of Fix You by Coldplay,” she told the BBC.


The sessions gave Gabrielle yet more exposure and shortly after the release of her third EP, Home, she revealed that she’d been signed with Parlophone.


But the big breaks weren’t done there. In 2012 her cover Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The Power of Love was chosen as the track for the John Lewis Christmas advert. It was a huge moment and gave Gabrielle her first UK number one, not to mention helping her subsequent album to number two in the charts.


“I’ve always loved the John Lewis ads, and I was so excited when I was chosen to sing the song. But then it started to dawn on me what I’d taken on,” she told the Daily Mail.


“I was worried people might hate me because they were so attached to the original single. But I’ve since been in touch with Holly Johnson, and he said some lovely things about my take on his song. He likes it, and that’s enough for me.”


New album and looking forward


Gabrielle enjoyed critical acclaim and commercial success with her first album, English Rain, and is hoping for the same again with her new album, Light Up The Dark.


Featuring a bigger, bolder sound than her first album, Light Up The Dark shows just how far Gabrielle’s come since those days recording videos at home. But while her sound may have changed and matured, her success hasn’t changed who she is.


She told the Independent recently: “Labels fund things and have resources for you to use. But just because you sign doesn’t mean you sign yourself away so they can then tell you what to do. You need to have a plan yourself, before they do.”

Emma Pierson


Former student chose the small screen over law


After studying Law at the Bath College, actress Emma Pierson decided to pursue a career in acting instead, proving that it’s okay if your path to success isn’t straightforward. She has since starred in a huge range of the UK’s favourite television series in a career spanning fifteen years, including sitcom Time Gentleman Please, award-winning period drama Little Dorrit and comedy sketch show Armstrong and Miller. She is best known for her role as feisty receptionist Anna Thornton-Wilton in Hotel Babylon and excelled in her most recent role as Jenny in BBC One’s The Kennedys.


How Emma’s career took off


Emma began acting lessons in high school when she attended St. Laurence School in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. After leaving school in 1997 she performed in several amateur theatre productions before applying to study law at the Bath College.


It was whilst studying with us that Emma gained her first television role, as Becky Radcliffe in the BBC’s Grange Hill, a children’s programme in which many of today’s well-known TV actors and personalities first gained recognition.


After Grange Hill, Emma starred in popular Channel 4 Sketch Show Armstrong and Miller. The actress was later asked to perform alongside Alexander Armstrong in sitcom Beast and sitcom The Worst Week of My Lifewith Ben Miller.


In 2002 Emma was cast as barmaid Connie in the second series of Al Murray and Richard Herring’s sitcom, Time Gentlemen Please. She has since appeared in multiple UK comedies such as My Hero The Project and Coupling, and TV dramas like A Touch of Frost and Bloodlines.


In 2006 Emma began working on Hotel Babylon, where she stayed for four series as the memorable character of Anna Thornton-Wilton, a glamorous receptionist at the 5 star hotel with a deceptively ditzy demeanour. In 2008 Emma landed a starring role in 7 Emmy Award-winning Little Dorrit. Emma played Fanny Dorrit, Amy Dorrit’s ballet-dancing older sister who has managed to make her way into society.


Emma’s recent acting achievements


Emma’s most recent TV role is as Jenny in BBC One’s The Kennedy’s. It’s a comedy drama set in the 1970s, loosely based on comedian Emma Kennedy’s memoirs in which the Kennedy family pursue every opportunity they can to climb the social ladder on their housing estate.


Finally, in 2015 Emma was cast in film Absolutely Anything as character Miss Pringle, alongside Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale. In the film, the Monty Python cast are re-united as they voice aliens who give Pegg’s character superpowers.


We can’t wait to see what Emma has in store for us in the future!

Laura Doggett Laura Doggett Musical Artist

Laura Doggett

Musical Artist

From Bath to the Charts: Laura Doggett’s story so far


Known for her eccentric, soulful performances and deep, haunting vocals, Laura Doggett first gained widespread attention after her single ‘Old Faces’ was chosen for the soundtrack of ITV drama, Broadchurch.


Laura gained her Extended Diploma in Music Practice at Bath College in 2012 and has since gained an impressive list of achievements. Not only has she enthralled a legion of Broadchurch fans, but Laura has performed on Later…with Jools Holland, supported John Newman on tour and headlined the BBC Introducing Stage at Radio One’s Big Weekend. Perhaps most impressively, Laura was also a Student Union President at Bath…


Not bad for a girl from Salisbury. ‘Old Faces,’ her song for Broadchurch is a single about struggling to fit in with small town politics. However, it was after her move to Bath that Laura Doggett was able to spread her wings.


“My time at Bath College shaped me as a young woman,”


Laura told our Alumni Association: “Music is a very personal thing, and you learn to fight for the things you do and don’t want to be doing. I was in a rock band for the last year, which I found extremely challenging as all I wanted to do was play piano and sing. I felt frustrated, but to get the grades you have to show you can collaborate with other musicians and cover a variety of genres.


“At first this felt creatively caging, but now that I’m working with a session band all of the time (but luckily to play my own music and not Pearl Jam), I appreciate the skills that I learnt – they’re invaluable. People don’t often think musicians also have to be team players. Also I’m thankful for the drive and determination this period gave me to ensure I end up always playing music I love and taking ownership and control of this. It’s important to maintain that self-assurance as you progress into the parts of the industry where people will want you to become their idea of success.“


Laura returned to Bath College in February 2015. As well as giving a stunning performance of her singles ‘Moonshine’ and ‘Sometimes,’ she wanted to offer advice about how to make a career in the music industry a reality. She told Bath College how valuable she had found the skills she had learnt with us.


“I wouldn’t know what to do without my Logic Pro skills. College taught me how to lay down my ideas onto recording software, and how to set-up a studio and use equipment. I learnt about various microphones and which ones suit my voice best, which ones are good for live and which ones are used in the studio. All of this knowledge allows me to hold my own in a studio and not feel like the ‘newbie.’”


“The live playbacks every week and quick change-overs (time in between acts) is very representative of the industry, especially when you’re at festivals – session musicians are given as little as 30 minutes to get gear onto the stage and line-check on a busy stage. If you run over, you have angry promoters who will be hesitant to book you again and stressed stage-managers. Playing live every week really improved my confidence and I found my voice got much better with the feedback from the tutors.”


What inspired Laura Doggett to pursue a career in music?


Laura’s eagerly anticipated debut album, set to be released in late 2015, is influenced musically by her idols Tracey Chapman, Kate Bush and Imogen Heap. These influences are apparent when listening to her ‘Into the Glass’ EP or the hugely popular single ‘Phoenix’. But it seems to be Laura’s desire to keep learning that really inspires her lyrics.


Speaking to the Independent, Laura said: “I love Tracy Chapman because she is a strong woman with a social conscience and she talks about real issues.


“It often seems like in music important things aren’t tackled and I don’t understand why… at the moment I’m really interested in human rights, animal rights and equality and feminism but I don’t know enough about it to really have a voice yet.”


It seems to us that Laura is already a powerful voice in advocacy for originality and young British music talent, and she’s only going to get louder.

Zoe Jeffery

Fashion and Textiles graduate is accepted onto a Masters course


Zoe gained her BTEC National Diploma in Fashion and Textiles from Bath College. She has since been accepted to study a Masters in Fashion Design at Northumbria University.


“My course at Bath College helped me a great deal in preparing and applying for university.” As part of her course, Zoe learned fashion and textile design, concept design, range planning and fashion practice.



Zoe then attended the University of the West of England to study for a degree in Fashion Apparel Design, where she “created a range of garments from design concept through to final collection, using research methods, practical solutions and planning.”


She designed clothes for her own clothing boutique, Ruby and Rose, in Bristol for almost 6 years, before applying for her Masters in Fashion Design.


“I’m currently employed as a Personal Assistant to the Vice President of the University of Bath. My responsibilities are managing the Vice President’s affairs, which involves liaising with officials, government offices and project management. I love that I am trusted with a lot of official projects and responsibilities.


“I have dyslexia, which can sometimes be a challenge, but I’m working hard to get a career in the creative industries.”


Alongside her Personal Assistant role, Zoe is designing for and managing Baile Clothing ltd, a t-shirt and sweatshirt company inspired by Brazil.


“What I learnt at Bath College is ‘don’t give up if you want to work in fashion.’ Explore all the options. It’s not just design that you can do. There are amazing careers in buying, merchandising, publishing, retail and much more.”

Explore Fashion and Textiles courses at Bath College

Steph Calley Steph Calley

Steph Calley

Mature student thanks Bath College for helping her get into university


“College was a fantastic environment for me as a mature student to help me back into education,” Steph told our Alumni Team.


After finishing her A Levels, Steph Calley didn’t know what she wanted to study at university, so she thought the opportunity had passed her by. Instead, she began training to join the police, working in McDonalds alongside to pay for her tuition.



“I always had a keen interest in the police so I did the training to become a Special Constable.”


“In McDonalds I worked my way up to a management position but found going home at 2am and returning at 11am tiresome.”


“I could not fulfil my police shifts, so I quit my job to go and work in Boots from nine to five. This freed up my evenings so that I could do the police work. However, after two years of being a Special ConstabIe I didn’t find the role as fulfilling as I had hoped it would be – especially as this was something which I had wanted to do from childhood.”


“It did give me a passion for people, however, which is why I now study psychology.”


Steph decided to take an Access to Higher Education Diploma at Bath College, which helps students who have been away from education for at least two years to develop the skills and confidence they need to apply for university.


Steph successfully applied to study B.Sc. (Hons) in Psychology at the University of Bath, for which she received a scholarship from Lloyds Bank. She is now in her second year.


“I couldn’t have got into somewhere as prestigious as the University of Bath without the help and support of my tutor John Barry and my teachers Carol and Carolyn,” she said.


Watch Steph talk about her experiences:


Discover more about Access to Higher Education at Bath College

Siobhan Moloughne

Business Studies course helped me overcome my redundancy


“The college gave me the basic knowledge of business skills that gave me the confidence to succeed in some really great businesses. When redundancy came along it was my college learning that I fell back on to help me establish my own businesses.”


Siobhan Moloughne earned her National Diploma in Business Studies at Bath College due to a passion for business which started at a young age. “I’ve always been passionately interested in business – I was brought up shadowing my Dad who established a large engineering company when I was very young.”



At sixteen, Siobhan was investing in stocks and shares, and she was offered her first job at Alliance Building Society after a work experience placement she took during her course with us.


She has since found success in roles for a number of different companies, using her business acumen to climb the ladder.


Facing challenges


Unfortunately, Siobhan was made redundant from a role that she loved, but instead of wallowing in her misfortune or admitting defeat, she took the opportunity to build something of her own.


“I had the knowledge and confidence to apply business strategies, marketing, accounting, economic, HR and all the other aspects of successfully running my own business. I definitely got a lot of this confidence from my original time at Bath College, as well as the huge variety of roles I had performed throughout my career.”


Siobhan set up Warminster Saddlery and Larkhall Repair Centre, both of which she ran successfully for eight years until they were sold for a profit.


Today, Siobhan has returned to Bath College to share her experiences and help other young people find success in business, as our Apprenticeship Development Officer.


“I develop employer relationships in the Radstock /Somer valley area and develop apprenticeship opportunities. I meet lots of different business owners and my background helps me to understand their business models. I love discovering the new businesses that are out there and the thought of helping create a great training or apprenticeship opportunity for people with some of these fantastic businesses.


“I love working here and want to remain in a role where I contribute something to the local community and young people.”


Words of Wisdom


Siobhan’s career journey hasn’t been easy, but luckily, she’s able to share her wide experiences with other former Bath College students via the Alumni Association.


“I’ve dealt with adapting to life after redundancy from a good job whilst expecting a baby at the same time and combatting huge prejudices in the workplace towards offering me any sort of permanent role when I was about to be a mum, all with a mortgage to pay.


“I toughened up and started my own business. Thanks to Bath College, I had the skills to think I was capable of doing this.”


Finally, we asked Siobhan if she had any words of advice for current students at Bath College:


“Learn what you can about the fundamentals of business while you can. You never know when that learning and knowledge will kick in and take you on an exciting journey.”

Discover Business courses at Bath College

Find out more about our apprenticeships

Verity Clark

Verity Clark

Graphic Design student is a Freelance Animator alongside her final year of university


Verity Clarke completed her BTEC National Diploma in Graphic Design in 2011, before studying Foundation Art & Design in 2012, both at Bath College. She was offered a place at the prestigious Chelsea College of Art and Design, where she will complete her degree in Graphic Design and Communication in 2016.


Verity is also a Freelance Animator for Bold Yellow Media, where she creates GIFs for social media campaigns and designs animations for video footage for a range of different clients.


“I’ve helped animate an advert that is to be broadcasted on T.V. and to be shared on social media,” she told our Alumni team. “It hasn’t been released yet and I can’t really say too much about it, but a lot of hard work has been put into it and it has paid off.


“The deadlines are very tight, sometimes I’d be asked to complete something for the morning, so I would only have a few hours sleep because I’m working so hard, but the adrenaline and final outcome are so worth it!”


So what was it that attracted Verity to Graphic Design?


“I knew I wanted to do some thing creative and be very good at it,” she told our Alumni Team. “I didn’t realise how much of a multi- disciplinary subject graphic design was at first which is why it’s perfect for me. Each project I do turns out to be a different medium or process.”


Verity says that her course at Bath College contributed hugely to her success so far.


“I learnt about the absolute basics of graphics design and the discipline of presenting work. The skills I’ve learnt have been imperative in the work place. Knowing which typeface to use, when and why, is necessary to communicating a certain theme or feel to each piece created. Knowing adobe software and being able to create what is needed quickly and proficiently is also a key skill needed in the work place.”


“I think my ultimate career goal is to contribute to an awesome company and make work that is so great that it goes viral and somehow inspires or changes people lives.


“I will always be creating things, I’d like to be an animator contributing to videos and films with Cinema 4D.”


Finally, we asked Verity if she had any advice for her fellow alumni:


“You’re going to trip up and fail, but learn to enjoy it and learn from your mistakes. Never, ever give up, greatness is closer than you think. Hard work never goes to waste!”


Visit Verity’s portfolio:

Discover Graphic Design courses at Bath College

Find out about our Art and Design Foundation courses

Vanessa Goodall

After getting the credentials to teach English as a language, our formers student’s career is soaring


After studying her CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Bath College, Vanessa Goodall now gets to travel all over the world as Director of Commercial Training at Medtronic, a global medical technology company. A large part of her job is to teach Business English to sales managers in her company, and the medical industry has been the perfect place for her to use her language skills.



Vanessa said: “One of my English for Business students recently gave some amazing feedback. They said ‘One week of English with you was better than the two years we’ve had with (a well-known international language provider). You’ve transformed us!’ Seeing them the following week giving a confident and competent presentation in English to their colleagues made me ridiculously proud of their achievements.”


Finding opportunities


“Each qualification I have gained with Bath College has directly enabled me to pursue new career opportunities. Without these qualifications that would not have been possible. My studies have given me the ability to communicate effectively within a complex organisation, as well as the discipline, curiosity, and motivation essential to working life if it is to be enjoyable and worthwhile.”


“I have spent my career to date in the medical device industry in marketing and training roles.  I currently develop and run commercial training programmes and English for Business courses for sales managers at Medtronic.” Vanessa would also like to explore the opportunities to teach English within the healthcare sector.


However, she told our Alumni Team: “The medical device industry is a great place to learn and develop. It’s hard work in terms of your time, energy and commitment, but it’s a worthwhile career, and offers plenty of opportunity.”

Want to teach English as a second language?

Find out more about our CELTA courses!

Lauren Payne

Lauren Payne

Lauren Payne did Bath College proud when she was accepted into all three universities she applied to after completing her BTEC Extended Diploma in Health services with us. She is now a Student Nurse alongside raising her son.


“I’ve always known I wanted to be a nurse,” Lauren told us. “College only confirmed that. I met some wonderful people who really pushed me to achieve my dreams.”


Lauren was determined to succeed.


After graduating from Bath College, Lauren chose to study Adult Nursing at the University of West London.



“My degree is hard work. Really hard work. Juggling that with everything going on is different, but you have to remain positive and push through.”


During her first year of university, Lauren became pregnant and took a year’s maternity leave, but she was determined to return to education and achieve her lifelong ambition to have a career in nursing.


“I’m very proud of returning to my degree after I had my son, when so many others in my position may have given up.”


Lauren recently returned to university in 2015 for her second year, and is about to start her fourth work placement in nursing. Being a student nurse requires hard work and dedication, and Lauren manages to do it all alongside looking after a young son.


So how does she do it?


“Organisation has been a big factor to success,’ she told us. “Determination to never give up is also very important.


“I would always tell people in a similar position to me to never give up. Bad days are going to happen when everything goes wrong but don’t let that deter you. Work hard and you will be rewarded. It’s worth it in the end.”


Lauren is planning on getting a job in orthopaedics after graduation in 2017. We’re certainly proud of her journey since leaving Bath College, and can’t wait to hear about how well she does in the future.

Tobias Mead

Bath College was the start of me and my life as a dancer!  A great two years of learning new things every day that even to this day I use and live by. It built my confidence up and allowed me to be me and accepted me not just as a student but as a human being. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I wasn’t given the skills and support I was so lucky to have received! One of the best things I learnt over the two years was to believe in myself and not give up because giving up is the easy way out.

Lucy Moore Lucy Moore

Lucy Moore

Drama has always been my favourite subject at school, and having studied it at A Level, I wanted to do a course that was much more practical to build up my confidence and skills as a performer before trying for Drama School, and this was the perfect course! I really enjoyed my time at Bath College, my teachers were great and very supportive and the course was really interesting. I made some good friends and, although things could be stressful at times, I achieved more than I ever thought I could. I was given the chance to prove myself, and after ‘Alice! The Musical’ my family and my friends from school have never been so proud of me after seeing me in my first main role and sing solo on stage for the first time.