At Macclesfield College, we love to keep in touch with our former students to see what they’re up to in the years after the study with us. One of the students we’ve spoken to is Alumna Heather Lilley who completed our Access to Higher Education course.

Hi Heather, thank you for speaking with me, it’s great to have a catch up! What are you up to now?
I’m now in my second year at Manchester Met University studying for a degree in psychology.

What has been your favourite part so far? 
Honestly, I’ve enjoyed all of it. But I’ve developed a keen interest in the neuro and biological aspect of psychology, which I didn’t expect, and I’ve really enjoyed being able to bridge connections between the many different branches of psychology.

How did we prepare you for University?
Doing the Access to HE Diploma at the college prepared me in more ways than one. It enabled me to get back into the mindset of a student after so many years away from education. It taught me about academic writing and referencing – which is a huge part of studying at university level, and helped to build my confidence up in study skills needed at university. It proved to be a valuable stepping stone from working life back into full-time education, which I don’t think I’d be where I am without, as I didn’t realise at the time just how much of a jump it would be.
I really wouldn’t be where I am now had I not done the access course at college. It opened up the opportunity for me to study at university, which may not have been possible otherwise.

What do you think of Macclesfield College?
The staff were fabulous, Lisa and Tanya and the whole of the access team were very supportive throughout.

Would you recommend us?
Yes, absolutely.  When I found out that in order to pursue my dream of going to university as a mature student, I’d have to do an Access to HE diploma at college first, I’ll be honest and say that I very nearly didn’t go ahead with it! But now, as I head in to second year at university, I am so grateful that I did. The course not only opened up opportunities for higher education itself, but it also provided an invaluable academic stepping-stone that prepared me for what was to come. Having been away from formal education for so long, had I not done the access course I know I would have struggled to adapt to the academic demands of university. Being at Macclesfield College for that year before heading to university really helped to prepare me for that next step, both personally and academically.
How are you finding the Psychology course at University?
I am really enjoying the course. It’s challenging and it requires a lot of self-study alongside the formal teaching, but the wide range of topics and subjects make it a very stimulating course. The lecturers are very engaging and passionate in their subject areas which also really helps to keep me focussed and motivated.

What would you like to do after you graduate?
I plan on applying to do a MSc in Health Psychology straight after I graduate, and from there I hope to take the BPS chartership route into becoming a registered Health Psychologist.