Cornwall LivingIssue #89

Make it happen

Looking for a change? Higher Education has never been more accessible in Cornwall, thanks to Truro and Penwith College.

Truro and Penwith College University Centre is celebrating a year of great successes. Achieving the highest rates of overall student satisfaction in Devon and Cornwall with over 90% for the second year in a row, it also received confirmation that it is now the sole Cornish member of the South West Institute of Technology (IoT). It also received approval of FdSc Cyber Security, the first course to be opened under the IoT, and is recruiting for September 2019. Additionally, FdSc Computing Technologies and BA (Hons) Business, Enterprise and Leadership students achieved 100% success rate.

“A lot of friends my age said to me ‘I couldn’t do it’, but you can.” – Diane Edwards

The College is also celebrating 20 years of delivering university level Psychology. Mature students make up half of the student body enrolled in Truro and Penwith’s university level courses, some having enrolled directly onto a course, others progressing from an Access to HE course. The college understands the responsibilities and time constraints that adult life can bring, which is why the timetable for the year is condensed into two full days per week, allowing for plenty of free time for independent study, part-time employment and family commitments.

Maxine Tregenza, who completed the BA (Hons) Business, Enterprise and Leadership degree whilst also founding her company, Cornish Essence, says: “I was working in a job that I could do well in but I knew that I could do more and just wanted to push myself. I’m so glad that I took this route; I developed so much expertise and confidence in my work.”

Similarly, Ceciel Huddlestone van Oevelen enrolled on the FdA Silversmithing and Jewellery course after being made redundant, and will be graduating in October from BA (Hons) Silversmithing and Jewellery with a First Class Honours. Ceciel says: “The whole course has been a development, not just as a Designer Maker but personally too.”

Mother of two, Dawn Rowe, who completed the FdSc Biological Sciences, explains: “I wanted to do something that I really thought I would enjoy doing, and saw that Truro actually had something similar to what I’d like to do on offer. It meant that I could still work, I could still be there for the children, but get the qualifications that I wanted to get.”

Member of Truro and Penwith’s Alumni, Duane Smith, now works in the Cardiac Department with the NHS, having completed both the FdSc Exercise Health and Fitness BSc (Hons) Applied Sport and Health Science course. He praises the condensed timetable, saying: “I was able to support the household whilst studying. By the end of the course, I was able to start my own business running boot camp classes.”

Access to HE courses

  Access courses are designed to give students the necessary grounding to progress on to university level education. They’re recognised by a vast number of universities in the UK and are aimed at those aged 19 and over who want to gain confidence or boost their level-three qualifications in order to progress. Starting in mid-September and ending in mid-June, based over three days a week, the timetable allows plenty of opportunities for extra study, part-time work experience and family time.

Access to HE courses cover a wide range of subjects as well: Art and Design, Computing, Creative Media and Photography, Humanities, Teaching and Law, Medicine, Nursing and Human Sciences, Psychology and Social Work, Sport Science and Science. Having recently completed the Access to: Nursing and Human Sciences course, Diane Edwards says that “a lot of friends my age said to me ‘I couldn’t do it’, but you can. You learn in a different way now, I’ve had more life experience that I have put into my course. The lecturers are all brilliant, knowledgeable and so lovely. The additional support is amazing too – there’s no stopping anyone from joining. You can make anything work if you want it to.”


Discover More

Recently completing the Access to HE course: Creative Media and Photography and progressing on to FdA Film, Media and Photography, Steve Kay explains: “With gentle encouragement from the guys around me and the tutors here, I was able to express my artistic side, which I would never have dreamt of being capable of 20 to 30 years ago. It has given me the confidence and courage to go for it.”


Finance and funding

Depending on your situation, Student Finance England offers a variety of different loans to help you study, from tuition fees and maintenance loans for Higher Education courses, to the Advance Learner Loan for access courses. To find out more, visit


Truro and Penwith College

01872 267000

"A lot of friends my age said to me ‘I couldn’t do it’, but you can." - Diane Edwards