It’s never too late to learn Science

In the next blog post of the #NeverTooLateToLearn series – where members of our Marketing team shadowed one of our mature students throughout a typical day at college – PR Officer Martin Currie spoke to Victoria Lanni, a 32-year-old HNC Applied Science student.

Victoria had just finished her final exam when we spoke. It was an exam she needed to pass in order to meet the conditions of her university application.

Find out how she got on, and how she’s found the science course, as a mature student at Ayrshire College…


Victoria is a very interesting case study. On paper she seems like the rest of the subjects in our #NeverTooLateToLearn series – a mature student who has returned to education with a laser-like focus on a specific career.

What makes Victoria’s story so interesting though, is that the career she is pursuing is a career in nursing. Yet she is studying a science course.

A lot of people still don’t realise that a science course is a genuine route to becoming a nurse, in fact for many it’s actually the preferred pathway. It allows you to fully immerse yourself in how the body works. Victoria has stressed that this has particularly helped her to understand disease progression and how people react to specific medication.

Victoria said “Someone I know is a nurse and she told me that you can take this route into nursing. Of course there were concerns, I had been out of education for a long time and I knew I’d be surrounded by younger people who had more recent experience of science courses. Being honest, if it wasn’t for the lecturers’ support then I’m not sure I’d have been able to do it. Although the girls I sit on the same bench with came through the National 5 and National 6 courses and they’ve been a great help this year too.

“I’d studied at Ayrshire College [on a Software Development course] back in 2004 but had to drop out as I moved to England. Now I’m back and I’ve not done too badly. I’ve got a conditional offer from Glasgow Caledonian University which meant I needed to pass everything this year, and I have. I’m so relieved to have no re-sits!

“I’ve got a little girl who is 4 years old but my time management has been good. When she goes to bed, that’s when I study. I’ve also got my Mum and my partner to help take care of her and take her to nursery whenever I’m at college.

“The course was two full days and one half day. Our time would be split between lab work and theory. For example, one of our experiments was to take salicylic acid and acetic anhydride and try to mix them together to produce aspirin. Only so much of the products will react, so it’s all down to how much reacts that determines how pure the aspirin is. We then compared our product with commercial aspirin. How did it compare? Ours was rubbish!

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Ayrshire College. I’ve enjoyed the learning process, although maybe not the chemistry side of things as it is very complex! But I’ve also enjoyed what I’ve learnt about myself and how I deal with situations. I’ve met some really lovely people – again, if it wasn’t for the lecturers I don’t think I would’ve got through, they were very understanding.

“It’s been a journey. It’s been a learning curve. I feel like I’ve chosen to do it at the right time in my life. If I’d studied this when I was 18 I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention. Now I really want to do it.

“Nursing is something I’ve always wanted to do. When I was younger a lot of things happened that stopped me and took me away from being in a place where I could get my education. Now I’m going to university!”

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