On Thursday, 17 August, hundreds of Level 3 extended diploma learners from the South West College (SWC) Omagh, Dungannon, and Enniskillen campuses collected their results, with many students achieving the equivalent of 3A* grades.

As a result, they have secured places on their first choice Higher Education courses, with many staying local to pursue undergraduate courses at the College.

Erne campus

Among the students celebrating their success were Blessing Mutandwa and Aoife Carney from Enniskillen, who achieved excellent results on the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Business. They will now progress on the Ulster University Foundation Degree in Business Management at South West College. Both students praised their experience at the College, highlighting the amazing tutors and the direct route to Higher Education.

Further success was seen at the Erne campus, with Oran McMenamin from Ederney and Elisha McDermott from Derrylin achieving exemplary grades on the Level 3 Construction and the Built Environment course.They will now progress onto a Higher Level Apprenticeship in Construction Engineering and Management at South West College.

First-year students Maria Trainor and Colleen McManus from Coa were also delighted after receiving top grades on the BTEC Level 3 Engineering with Agriculture course.

Osin Wallace and Jack Johnston also achieved exemplary results on the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Business. Oisin will now progress to Liverpool John Moores University, while Jack hopes to pursue a Higher Level Apprenticeship locally.

Omagh Campus

At Omagh campus, Joe Harper achieved top results in National Extended Diploma Engineering and will progress on to Queens University Belfast to study BEng Mechanical Engineering.

Aimee and Katie Gallagher were also delighted to receive their results. Aimee just completed Level 3 Business at the College and will progress onto a Foundation Degree in Business at SWC.

Matthew McFarland also achieved great results from the BTEC National Extended Diploma Engineering and is delighted to be heading on to Ulster University to study BEng Mechanical Engineering.

Other notable successes include Katie & Bonnie Harper (Twins), who were delighted with their results for BTEC National Extended Diploma Construction and will both progress on to second year, with the intention to return to the College for a Foundation Degree in Civil Engineering.

Chloe Smith, a dedicated student at Omagh campus, achieved outstanding results for her BTEC National Extended Diploma in Applied Science. With her remarkable achievements, Chloe is thrilled to explore a diverse range of higher education courses to further her academic journey.

South West College Principal and Chief Executive Celine McCartan said:

"This level of success stands as a testament to the standard of teaching and learning within our College. All students are to be congratulated as they all worked extremely hard throughout the year, and I am delighted that all their hard work has paid off. We wish them every success in their future studies and careers.”

Additionally, she emphasized,

"Extended Diplomas provide an equivalent qualification to three A-Levels and offer the opportunity to delve deeper into specialized vocational fields such as business, construction, engineering, arts, and sports, among others. They equip learners with the necessary skills for employment in specific career sectors and serve as a prerequisite for university or higher education qualifications. Extended Diplomas allow students to explore their chosen subjects in greater depth, with a greater emphasis on coursework rather than exams, catering to the needs of our students.

"Considering the escalating expenses associated with university tuition fees, it is crucial that aspiring young individuals seeking higher level qualifications are aware of the array of options available to them. We strongly urge them to explore the Higher Education opportunities offered at their local Further Education College as they embark on the next chapter of their educational journey, empowering them to make informed choices."

SWC is still accepting applications for a September 2023 start across a wide range of full-time and part-time Higher Education courses, including 30 Foundation Degrees, BSc Top Ups, and Full Honours Degrees with specialisms and pathways, many in STEM subjects.

Interested individuals can visit the SWC website or email admissions@swc.ac.uk or call 028 8225 0109 for more information and assistance.

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