Two Foundation Degree students from Northern Regional College, Coleraine have recently secured permanent jobs at local Architects Studio Rogers. This follows a period of work experience which was organised by the college, originally as part of the course. The three year part-time Foundation Degree in Building Technology and Management offered by NRC in Coleraine has been running for eight years in partnership with the University of Ulster.
Modules include: Sustainable Construction, Building Services, Computer-Aided Design, Measurement and Costing and Project Management. In addition, an important part of the Foundation Degree is the Work-based Learning element. Course Director Pat Condren highlighted the benefits of work placement as part of the course, saying, “Students benefit greatly from working in a professional environment for a few days each week. They are able to bring this experience into the classroom when they attend college and this has a very positive effect on their work.’ He continued, “This gives students a range of important transferable skills and valuable experience in the construction industry which will not only facilitate the completion of the Foundation Degree, but also help secure future employment.”
One of the students, Jonathan McFarland, explained, “I completed the Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Construction at NRC, Coleraine in 2011 and upon completion didn’t hesitate to apply for the Foundation Degree. What appealed to me about this course was that I could ‘earn and learn’ at the same time. I attend College one day per week and work at Studio Rogers the rest of the week. The experience gained in the office has been invaluable and I even have the possibility of becoming a fully qualified Architectural Technician when I have completed the Foundation Degree.”
Another student who has also secured a permanent position at Studio Rogers is Adrian Gilloway. Adrian worked as a plumber for 13 years and then decided to look for a change of career. After speaking to an NRC Careers Advisor, he decided to apply for a place on the Foundation Degree. During his interview with the Course Director, Adrian was delighted to discover that his experience would make him eligible for entry onto the course. “I would recommend this course to others as the staff are very friendly and professional and the quality of teaching and level of support is fantastic. I was offered a permanent position at Studio Rogers following a period of work placement and I have the Course Director and his colleagues to thank for that.”
Pat Condren added “NRC has worked closely with Studio Rogers and other local employers for a long time now and we are very grateful for their continued support. Work placement is vital for courses of this nature and we hope to continue with these partnerships moving forward. I am pleased to say that one of our former Foundation Degree students, Jason McLeister, continues to be employed by Studio Rogers permanently and this is as consequence of this qualification and work placement. It is great to see Jason doing so well.”
Applications are now invited for the Foundation Degree in Building Technology & Management validated by the University of Ulster, at the Coleraine campus starting in September 2014. For further information please log onto the website www.nrc.ac.uk or contact the College on 028 7035 4717.