A whole new career change for Lisa

April 22, 2020

Lisa’s story is a familiar one and shows that you don’t need to stick to the same career path for your whole life. Particularly if you are feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied.

Lisa, like many of us, embarked on a path which she started immediately after finishing school. This tends to be ingrained into us, that our GCSE and further education choices will determine our careers for the rest of our lives.

She seemingly had ‘it all’. A job as a graphic designer in a globally known brand yet somehow she felt an overwhelming sense of unfulfillment and direction. It’s not that she didn’t enjoy her job as such, but something was missing.

A few things had happened in her life that made her re-evaluate everything, something needed to change, and she felt changing her career would be the answer. After a life revaluation, Lisa is now at university studying midwifery, on her last step to becoming a midwife.

Deciding on a path…

Lisa started her research into what she might like to do as a brand-new career. She knew that she wanted a job that was fulfilling and rewarding, where she could make a difference in people’s lives.

‘Having looked at various careers ranging from events planning to paramedicine I felt drawn to and most interested in midwifery.

Choosing an Access course

Although she already had A-Levels, Lisa hadn’t been in education for a while. Midwifery is a competitive field to get in to and science-related credits are needed to be able to apply for the undergraduate degree course required to become a registered midwife.

‘I wanted more information about the route that I needed to take and the options that were available to me. I went to a careers advisor who was incredibly helpful. They advised that I needed to successfully complete an Access to Higher Education (HE) course – something I had never heard of up until this point.’

An Access to HE course is a route into university without A-Levels. It’s perfect for those, who like Lisa, were returning to education after some time.

‘After meeting with the career’s advisor, I knew that I needed complete an Access to HE course to get me into university to study midwifery. I was determined, so I started my research into which universities I wanted to apply to. I originally assumed that any Access to HE course would get you into university to study midwifery but actually you need to choose a course that has specific modules.’

Like our Access to HE Diploma Health, the modules covered are the modules you need to be considered for a midwifery or nursing course.

‘One of the reasons I chose my access course was because I was assessed solely by assignments and no exams. This was ideal for me, as I am much better at coursework.’


‘As I don’t have any children, I had the option to go much further afield to study. I didn’t mind the idea of moving and living away for university, as choosing the right degree course, with the right placement opportunities, would give me the career as a midwife that I really wanted.’

‘When I got started on my university course, I could tell instantly that the Access to HE course had helped prepare me so much. Compared to those that had studied A-Levels, the access course had very course-specific modules. The majority of the subjects that I had studied within my access course, were also part of my degree course, which gave me an advantage.’

The access course helped Lisa through her degree much quicker than normal. Having already experienced the jump from A-Levels to university when she was much younger, she felt the Access to HE course had prepared her for university much more this time around.

‘I felt the jump from my access course to my degree far less. The Access to HE course had already taught me about the boundaries of academic writing. Learning to use Harvard referencing and how to complete literature searches were skills that, due to my access course, I already felt comfortable with and as such I was able to spend my time completing assignments and not spending my time learning these new skills. Word counts and deadlines were also important throughout my access course, yet they were not such a big thing during my time studying A-Levels.’

Back to education

Lisa, like many of us, was originally sceptical about getting back into education after being in a full-time job and career for many years.

‘Starting my access course was one of the most nerve-wracking times of my life. However, my tutors were really good and guided me through both the course and the UCAS process. They were really focussed on helping me achieve what I needed to get into my chosen university. They were supportive both pastorally and academically which really helped ease me back into studying.’

For those sceptical of getting back into education because they are a little older, needn’t worry!

‘I wouldn’t worry about your age either. There was a wide age group on my Access to HE course, with the majority being older and returning to education. Everyone is studying for a reason, which is to get to their dream career. There is also a mix of ages on my university course, and we all come from a range of backgrounds, for example some are parents, some have had previous careers and even owned their own businesses, whereas others have come straight from school. But none of that matters, everyone is in it together and everyone is there for a reason. Age simply doesn’t matter.’


For those who might be feeling inspired by Lisa’s story or those who are considering a change of career.

‘Just go for it. What have you got to lose? If you’re able to do an Access to HE course or a course online through distance learning, you still have the opportunity to work and can balance your studies with your everyday life. Your life needn’t change much, but your goals and ambitions will. Making the decision to complete an Access to HE course has got me exactly where I needed to be and it’s the best jump I’ve ever made.’

For those who are inspired reading Lisa’s story or inspired by the health heroes of today, consider taking an Access to HE course online. You can balance your studies with your job and can be at university studying something you’ve always dreamed of. On the path to becoming a nurse or midwife!

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Libby Barrett

As Digital Content Executive for OSC, I'm currently studying my IDM Digital Marketing qualification through distance learning. I absolutely love all things creative and when I'm not at Open Study College, I'm being a complete theatre nerd, performing in panto or amateur productions!

A whole new career change for Lisa
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