A journey in Health & Social Care to a Russell Group University

Cara McCaffrey, from Maidenhead has achieved a Triple Distinction in her Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care. This is equivalent to a pretty impressive 3 x A* grades at A level. Cara shares her experience at The Henley College and offers advice to others who may be thinking of doing the same.

"After getting cold feet with the A Levels I had chosen at my local sixth form, I applied to The Henley college at the beginning of September 2017 with the help of my dad who has worked at the College for a decade. I studied Health and Social Care Extended Level 3 and instantly felt like the course was for me. During my GCSEs I was interested in psychology and nursing, and starting a BTEC in a similar field allowed my interest to further and my academic side to grow immensely. 

After finishing first year with a Distinction, I had my eyes set on university and an end goal of becoming a nurse. I applied to Cardiff University, Southampton University, University of Birmingham, University of Surrey and Birmingham City University. After receiving offers from them all, I chose the University of Birmingham as my firm choice and Surrey as my insurance.

In my final year I got tremendous support from my teachers Kareen and Suzie, who encouraged my abilities and made me feel ready for further education and training whilst studying at university. 

Since finishing at the College and getting my results of D*D*D, I have an unconditional place at the University of Birmingham to study Nursing, starting in late September. 

Despite being sad to leave Henley and being apprehensive about my new life chapter, I am so incredibly grateful to the College and what they have done for me over the two years. I have not looked back since joining and have gained such independence and personal growth that would not have been achieved at my local school sixth form. 

To anyone who is considering college, or has cold feet about Henley, just go with what feels right. Despite being late to apply myself, I still found my place, as will you. 

Furthermore, the misconception with BTECs is that you can’t go to university, or no ‘good’ or ‘top’ university will accept you. I was accepted to three Russell Group universities and this was something I couldn’t fathom happening. Therefore, I would highly recommend prospective students to look into BTECs as they not only cater to lots of students preferences, they also allow you to be assessed in different ways, and often allow you to gain experience in your chosen field of study, which will later prove valuable to working life."

If you're interested in studying Health & Social care, take a look at the Level 2 and Level 3 course content and come to our next information event!