There was remarkable success in the EPIC Project Based Learning (PBL) Showcase hosted at the South West College (SWC) campuses in Dungannon, Enniskillen and Omagh recently. Over twenty-five entries were submitted by students from various vocational areas within the College as part of the end-of-year programme, designed to help them gain vital employability skills, including problem-solving and communicating solutions to enhance their career prospects.

The EPIC PBL event showcased several entries from various vocational areas, providing students and curriculum staff the opportunity to present their hard work from throughout the year. Students in small teams competed in the challenge to identify an innovative solution to a specific problem, tailored towards each vocational area, which they then presented at the Colleges Dungannon Enniskillen and Omagh showcase.

The showcased student projects included a diverse range of creative designs, such as a memorial bench, various planters, a garden project, solar taps, and birdboxes, each uniquely developed by the talented students.

In the highly anticipated Campus online voting sessions, which culminated in over seven hundred votes, the Engineering students of Dungannon impressed with their remarkable Planters project, while the Joinery students of Enniskillen received recognition for their stunning Memorial Bench.

The overall winners, due to the highest number of votes, went to the Employment, Training and Personal Development Group for their exceptional work on the Sensory Garden and Outdoor Space project.

Gemma Dunn, EPIC project-based learning coordinator at SWC said:

"At south west College, we are committed to providing every student with the opportunity to improve their employability skills.

"In an increasingly challenging job market, this has never been more important.

“Students have come up with creative projects, while some have looked at previous ideas and how they can enhance it and make it better.

"The students produced several innovative ideas, and it was a very close-run competition, but I believe that the Employment, Training and Personal Development Group were the rightful winners of the Enterprise Challenge. Their choice of product shows real passion for their work and has real commercial viability. They worked well in a team, and their presentation was clear and concise. I look forward to them developing their business idea and making it a commercial reality.

"At SWC, we are committed to providing every student with the opportunity to improve their employability skills and with an increasingly challenging job market, this has never been more crucial.

"Project Based Learning was created with the aim of helping create an exciting and enjoyable way of learning about the College while also helping students make new friends in a fun and informal manner. Every project the students put forward has given them the opportunity to learn, to think outside the box, to figure out problems and challenges, to invent and reinvent and the importance of how hard work pays off.

"Employers have informed us that a qualification is not enough anymore, and students need to have much more in terms of skills and experience. In response, SWC has launched the EPIC Initiative."

The winning students were also recently crowned intercollege champions at the inaugural 2023 Sectoral Project Based Learning Awards hosted at North West Regional College. They claimed the esteemed title of "Social Impact Category" Project Winner, taking first place over all of the 6 FE Colleges.

For more information about EPIC project-based learning at SWC, please contact Gemma Dunn: or see below.

EPIC - Project Based Learning