Centre for Lifelong LearningHelen Stuart

Pre-entry access student

Helen Stuart is a former Pre-entry access course student who has just graduated with a first-class honours degree in History. Helen has also been awarded a prize for the most distinguished mature student. Read on to find out more about Helen's experience at the University of Strathclyde.

What first attracted you to studying at the University of Strathclyde?

When I first heard about the Pre-Entry Access course the format and modules on offer excited me and I knew it would provide a challenge to prove to myself that I could have succeeded at University had I gone straight from school.

 The Pre-entry course was a game changer for me and allowed me to realise a lifelong ambition.

What were you doing prior to the Pre-entry course?

After leaving school in the early 1980s I forged a successful career in IT which spanned over 25 years. However, I always regretted not going to University, which wasn't as accessible in those days. In 2016 I decided to have a career change and whilst temping at Strathclyde University, I came across a pamphlet for the Pre-entry course.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Strathclyde?

I enjoyed the fact that the Pre-entry course gave students a true representation of University life - with essays, deadlines, access to the library and Myplace. This gave me a good idea of what University life would be like should I take it further. I also really enjoyed the lectures and the reading - the academic staff were excellent and so dedicated.



What are your future plans?

Once I had finished the course I went on to become a full-time student at Strathclyde, studying History, Politics and Social Policy. I am now considering returning to the University to do a Msc in Historical Studies as I would like to work in historical research.

What advice would you give to a prospective student coming to study the course?

I would say put in the work and reap the dividends! Even if you don't go on to become a full-time student, the challenges that this course presents are inspiring and confidence building. The course was a game changer for me as it allowed me to realise a lifelong ambition of experiencing life at a university and achieving a first-class honours degree. It took my career in a whole new direction and is one of the best things I have ever done!