Meet our students

Meet our learners

Alexandra - Accounting (AAT) Level 3 Diploma


“I work for a Bedford accountancy firm, Thompsons Accounting, and wanted to progress my career but continue to work full-time.  This part-time AAT course fits in well because it’s two evenings a week.”

“Although I work for an accountancy firm, I’m doing an administration job at the moment, so this AAT qualification will help advance my career. I’m planning to go on and complete the Level 4 AAT – that’s my goal.  Once I have the Level 4 qualification it will open up a lot of different opportunities for me. The course has definitely helped me gain a greater understanding of what goes on at work, particularly the financial terminology the accountants use, so it has significantly increased my confidence at work.”

» Find out more about Accounting (AAT) Level 3 Diploma

Bryony - Marketing CIM Level 4 Professional Certificate


“I was doing the marketing for my company Bodyflight Ltd and having not studied Marketing in any depth before I wanted to find a local course that would teach me more about the subject. Bedford College was very local to my work and I could go straight from work to the evening classes. I enjoyed making new friends on the course, some of whom I am still in touch with.”

» Find out more about Marketing CIM Level 4 Professional Certificate

Carol - Floristry City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate


“I previously worked as an administrator in education, but when I came back from living abroad I took the opportunity to retrain and do something I really love. I’ve always enjoyed arranging flowers informally at home so when my daughter asked me to arrange the flowers for her wedding, it was an extra incentive for getting a formal qualification.”

“I was 53 when I started the course and I was completely out of my comfort zone – it was so different from what I’d done as a job before. I was worried about being the eldest in the class and about learning all the botanical names for the flowers, because my memory is like a sieve!  But there are three of us in our fifties, and others in their forties and thirties, and the tutor has broken down the course into bite sized pieces so it’s not too daunting.  I’ve surprised myself with how much information I’ve been able to retain.”

“My work life has completely changed - I’m not going back to administration!  I’m very busy with my flower arranging business.  I’ve set myself up in the shed and on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day I had a lot of orders and I’ve already got two weddings booked for this year.”

“I’m absolutely loving the course and I can give my customers the confidence that I’ve got some formal training, in fact, I’m going to enrol on to the second year of the course in September.”

» Find out more about Floristry City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate

Catherine - Personal Training CYQ Level 3 Certificate


“I took some time out when my children were born, and I wanted to do something fun. I am a qualified nurse but always enjoyed running and generally keeping fit so I enquired about the course and was impressed by the lecturers. It fitted in with my family life and wasn’t too stressful, plus living only 2 miles from the college I was able to cycle there. The course was fun and the lecturers were very supportive, they were always available either by phone or email and there was a big focus on passing – failure was not an option.”

“The positivity rubbed off on all of us and we all worked really hard. Since the course I have been able to leave my nursing career and now work full time as a personal trainer and run successful outdoor fitness classes. The lecturers are so supportive and it was great meeting so many students, many of whom I will always be in contact with.”

» Find out more about Personal Training CYQ Level 3 Certificate

Gavin - Practical Horticulture RHS Level 2 Certificate


“I’m self-employed and work in London as a Personal Trainer but I’ve been in the fitness industry for 18 years and I’m now looking for a change and to do something different.  I also want a more self-sufficient lifestyle so this RHS qualification seemed like a good stepping stone to achieve both of these goals.”

“The reason I chose this RHS qualification is because it’s well respected in the industry and I can keep my options open as I don’t know what area of horticulture I want to specialise in yet.”

“Shuttleworth College is not like other colleges, it’s located in lovely grounds and on this course we have access to a historic walled garden on the 500 acre Shuttleworth Estate, where we can develop our practical skills.  We have everything we need here on site including laboratories and horticulture equipment.”

“Our tutor is great.  He’s very passionate, knows his stuff and is very good at communicating and passing on his knowledge to us.  It’s fantastic having a tutor who you like and who you can see is really interested in his subject and knows what he’s talking about.  It’s so important and makes the course really enjoyable – I’d recommend it to other people interested in developing their gardening skills.”

» Find out more about Practical Horticulture RHS Level 2 Certificate

Lee - Construction BTEC Level 3 Diploma Construction & the Built Environment


“I chose this course because I wanted to get into construction, I live in Bedford so the Cauldwell Street campus was really convenient. I was a little nervous as I had not studied for years, but the course lecturers helped me through this. I really enjoyed the course because it was not just about the technical content; it was also about preparing me for a professional position. They even arranged for some local construction industry bosses to come in and prepare me for interviews. And after only one interview I am now a trainee manager at a construction company in Bedford!”

» Find out more about Construction BTEC Level 3 Diploma Construction & the Built Environment

Lisa - Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools CACHE Level 2 Certificate


“I chose this part-time course because I wanted to train to be a Teaching Assistant and as a single parent I needed flexible study options to fit around my family commitments.”

“I was offered a place on the course on the condition that I gained a work placement of at least ten hours a week in a school.  I then had ten weeks of part-time study and then another ten weeks supporting a Year 2 teacher at a local primary school.”

“There’s no doubt that the course has helped me in my day to day life. Without completing this course I would not have got my new job as a Teaching Assistant as I had no previous experience in this area.  The Headteacher was observing a lesson that I was supporting and offered me the job based on the skills I demonstrated in the classroom.  I’ve also learnt a lot about childcare and behaviour issues which not only helps me with my job, but also helps me to deal with my own children in a better way.”

“My tutor was absolutely brilliant and so supportive, she went above and beyond what was required to help me and make sure I had a good experience on the course – in fact I’ve already recommended the College to others.”

» Find out more about Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools CACHE Level 2 Certificate

Louise - Tap Dance: Improvers


“The College was offering a great sounding course, which wasn’t too expensive and was easily accessible being in the centre of Bedford. I was new to the area and looking for an evening class to meet new people, have fun and learn something new. The tap course sounded perfect!”

» Find out more about Tap Dance: Improvers

Mai - General Patisserie & Confectionary Level 2 & Hospitality Management BTEC HND Level 5

General Patisserie & Confectionary Level 2 Certificate
Hospitality Management BTEC HND Level 5

Case Study Part Time Mai Catering

I’ve always had a passion for cooking and baking since I was young. Growing up, my mum was a chef in our village and she taught me smells and aromas from different kind of spices, what they look like and their purposes. I’ve learnt a lot from spending time with her.  

I came to the UK from Borneo 17 years ago to continue my study to gain higher qualification. I enjoy learning and over the years I have seen many improvements being made here at Bedford College which have given myself and others the opportunity to study a range of different courses, as there is always help and support available. I work to help pay for my cookery courses because I know that once I am qualified, more career options will be open to me. I’ve completed a number of qualifications here at Bedford College.

My tutors are excellent – I find it easier to learn through practical than theory, even though to accomplish my HND, it requires me to do more coursework.

Within the college, there are plenty of practical sessions including working within the College’s restaurants at different campuses, both cooking and serving. The College has also helped me with my language skills. English is not my first language and throughout the years I feel that it has progressed and improved.

After completing my HND I would like to continue my study at university. If the College offered a Level 6 qualification then I wouldn’t be leaving; I would recommend the College to everyone.

One day I would like to publish a cookery book and eventually would like to work in a prestige hotel. At home I love to cook for family and friends, I’m very lucky that my family give me the support that enables me to accomplish my goals.

» Find out more about General Patisserie & Confectionary Level 2 Certificate 

» Find out more about Hospitality Management BTEC HND Level 5

Mick - Teaching in Post-Compulsory Education (Cert Ed/PGCE)

Mick Pinney

“I completed the CertEd as part of my job. Group activities worked well for me as I like being part of a group. They were also great for sharing ideas like ice breakers and quizzes, which I use in my lessons. I love how the tutors let you be creative and choose anything you like and deliver a micro teaching lesson, the feedback was great and tutor feedback was always positive, which made me feel good about myself. Tutors were excellent and always supportive.”

“I have achieved a grade 1 lesson observation and I am currently about to undertake the A1 assessors award. I was asked if I would become the course manager in Brickwork. Wow – what a journey in such a short time. In 2007 I was working on a building site and in 2014 a fully qualified teacher and manager of Brickwork!”

» Find out more about Teaching in Post-Compulsory Education (Cert Ed/PGCE)

Pauline - Therapeutic Counselling Level 4 Diploma


“I currently design clothing for Formula One and was searching for an alternative career where I could really make a difference and help others. I enrolled on the part-time Counselling Studies Level 3 Certificate at Bedford College and, when that came to an end, the Level 4 Diploma was a natural progression for me. My tutor, Nadine, taught me on Level 3, which really helped when moving up a level, as she understood my capabilities and my commitment to my development as an individual.

All of the tutors are very organised and let us know what we will be covering ahead of the session, so that we can mentally prepare. I went in to something very unfamiliar when I started studying Counselling, but the practical side of this course really helps to contextualise the theory; for instance, we have to do a voluntary placement, personal counselling and supervisions. It is a definite step up from the Level 3 and has a bigger impact on your life; even though I am only in College one day a week, I put in a lot more hours outside of college studying and attending my placement.

The College environment is just what I need. To be in an educational setting surrounded by students engages me in my learning and is one of the main reasons I chose college over distance learning. Access to the Advanced Learner Loan was also an important factor. There is a lot going on in the department as well; we have a guest speaker come in once a term. Overall, my experience has been a very positive one.”

» Find out more about Therapeutic Counselling Level 4 Diploma

Sameena - Make-Up City & Guilds Level 2 Award


“I wanted to get a job working with make-up so I enquired about this course after my sister suggested it. I really enjoyed the course especially the make-up application and would recommend it to anyone who wants to work in the industry. Thanks to this course I am now working as a beauty advisor in London and loving it.”

» Find out more about Make-Up City & Guilds Level 2 Award

Stephen - City & Guilds Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Domestic Plumbing and Heating


“I studied carpentry at another college but decided to do plumbing as I was spending a lot of time helping my family who are plumbers and I wanted to get the necessary qualifications. Bedford College was closer to home and the specialist plumbing centre was ideal as it is so well kitted out. I started on a night course doing plumbing and heating and have worked my way to an NVQ in Plumbing & Heating. I have made a lot of friends and quite a few contacts through the courses and the tutors have been amazing. Not only have I gained the necessary skills but I have also been able to secure a job in a plumbing firm with the help of one of my tutors.”

» Find out more about City & Guilds Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Domestic Plumbing and Heating

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