Skip to main content
Thursday 3 December 2020

University launches free ‘life changing’ taster course in health, social care and nursing

UCLan course tutor who swapped the shop floor for the hospital ward explains why it’s a good time to make an early New Year’s resolution

A former retail manager who enrolled on a free, life-changing taster course in nursing is now urging others to do the same.

David Foster, a Lecturer in Children's Nursing at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), is to teach on a new, Return to Study Entry Programme aimed at those over the age of 21 who can demonstrate the qualities and skills required to work in a health-related career but don’t necessarily have formal entry qualifications.

And if students enrolling on the course need a role model then the former fashion retailer turned UCLan lecturer is a fine example, having left school at 16 with just a handful of GCSEs to work at Burton Menswear.

A fashion retail career of nine years culminated when David, by then the manager of the Burton Southport outlet, won the UK ‘store of the year’ title and as a reward travelled to Germany for the 2006 World Cup.

“I was 25 at the time with a house, a car and bills to pay but the World Cup prize gave me a chance consider my future and the possibility of new challenges,” said the UCLan academic.

“I wanted a career where I could continue to work with people, especially children, so when I saw a flexible taster course advertised leading to a possible career in nursing I jumped at the opportunity.”

"Just like me I’m sure there are lots of motivated people out there who don’t necessarily have traditional qualifications but do have the drive and relevant personal skills to study for a degree and work within the health sector."

David Foster, Lecturer in Children's Nursing

Having qualified as a children’s nurse in 2011, David worked in Newcastle for two years and then at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool for a further five. He has been a lecturer on UCLan’s nursing programmes for the last three years.

“It’s a fantastic career that’s changed my life and I’ve never looked back,” David continued. “Just like me I’m sure there are lots of motivated people out there who don’t necessarily have traditional qualifications but do have the drive and relevant personal skills to study for a degree and work within the health sector.

“Our new Return to Study Entry Programme is the ideal first stepping stone as it’s a free, blended on-line/face-to-face course, studied part-time on Wednesday evenings and Saturdays over an eight-week period. Successful students could be enrolling onto one of our nursing programmes by March 2021.”

Content within the pioneering course includes an introduction to health and social care as well as study skills to support success at University. Students will be assisted throughout the programme by course tutors and current UCLan students.

The course also aims to support the local economy by upskilling or re-skilling the local workforce post-COVID 19.

The eight-week part-time programme starts in January 2021 and can provide entry onto UCLan’s Foundation Entry (Year 0) Health and Social Care Foundation Degree, or into Year 1 of UCLan’s BSc (Hons) Nursing with Registered Nurse (Adult or Mental Health).

For further details applicants should email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk