BSc (Hons) Nursing – Dual Registration in Adult and Mental Health student, Calvin McCormick discusses his experience with support whilst studying at RGU.
My name is Calvin McCormick, a twenty-three year old undergraduate student studying at RGU. My current course is in the dual registration BSc (Hons) Nursing – Dual Registration in Adult and Mental Health – a course which is relatively new to Scotland. Academically, my background has come from business and hospitality – graduating with a first class honours degree in this subject last year. Currently, I am within my first year of my new degree – undertaking a blended learning approach, with practical activities on campus and online learning.
Completing school, and going to university was always on the cards for me. Although in the first instance I wanted to go down the business development and marketing route for hospitality organisations, the COVID pandemic taught me there is much more to life than making money for large corporations. Hence the change to nursing. With this being said, the application process from start to finish was relaxed and straightforward, the admissions team informed you of all relative information every step of the way and provided a lot of support.
Applying to university for both my degrees involved an application to UCAS and an interview. The interviews are formal, however you are made to feel at ease, and the itinerary is explained to you prior to attending. The virtual interviews for my nursing degree were well managed, and felt very similar to my in person interview many years ago.
Coming from an underprivileged background, and spending time within care – I felt it was important to firstly decide on a university which supports and nurtures students throughout their academic career, through a range of services. The services on offer from Robert Gordon University are one of the reasons why I would encourage people to apply. Coming from care, I was linked to the Access Team – with the support of several individuals throughout the duration of my degree, who are there to encourage and support you through your time at university.
Specific services I have taken advantage off are the bereavement counselling and discretionary fund. There are a few other things on offer such as one-to-one support from a designated advisor, welcome pack when you enrol (printing credit, food voucher, parking permit amongst other items valuing around £250) and even an option of either discounted or free accommodation for your first year of study, subject to meeting the set criteria. Many other universities do offer similar services, however the welcome pack and free accommodation is very hard to find from such high calibre universities such as Robert Gordon University. The support from the university, and experiences from my previous degree were the predominant reason as to why I have decided to study here for another four years.
Of course, if you are thinking of coming to Aberdeen as an outsider (like me), then it will be extremely nerve-wracking – but I can assure you the societies, nightlife and student halls in the area are great additions to your university life. Alongside this, the support you get from your personal tutors is incredible – they truly will do anything to facilitate a less daunting experience academically, and personally. The lecturers are extremely experienced in their field, with a vast array of industry experience, and academic underpinning.
If I was to give you one piece of advice, it would be to enjoy it. You are about to start the most important journey of your life. Decide carefully on what you want to do, research the town you want to live in – and immerse yourself in the student experience that the university has to offer. Engage in societies, make friends with new people – and I assure you, it will be the best years of your life.