Image: Catriona Bryceland, Nursing BSc Top-Up degreeWhy did you choose this course?

I wanted to top up my Adult Nursing Diploma to a degree, and when researching what top-up courses were available, this course met all of my needs.

What attracted you to online learning?

Online learning suited me as I was able to complete the course from the comfort of my own home, and fit studying around my shift pattern.

Why did you choose the University of Derby Online Learning?

The course modules were interesting and more relevant than that of other online courses around the UK.

What were your goals and aspirations when starting your course? Have they changed during study?

My main goals were to complete the course and improve on my grades which I had already received in my diploma. I was successful with this, and also gained enthusiasm for writing, exploring relevant journals, articles and research material around the modules being studied. My other goal was to complete the course as soon as possible, but also to allow me to consolidate my learning and apply it in practice.

Image: Catriona Bryceland, Nursing BSc Top-Up degreeHow did you balance your study around professional/personal commitments?

I found this bit difficult as I worked full-time, did extra agency shifts, and volunteered as a pre-hospital nurse whilst studying, so the challenge of balancing all of this with studying and personal life was a real challenge. Nevertheless, I managed to do this successfully and to complete the course. At times I did get stressed, but with good support from friends and family I got through.

How would you describe your online learning experience at Derby? What did you find particularly beneficial?

I found the tutor support on my dissertation module really good, and it was nice to be matched with someone who had worked in a similar area of nursing as me.

What was your most memorable moment during your time at Derby?

Completing the course with a grade I was happy with.

Image: Catriona Bryceland, Nursing BSc Top-Up degreeHow has your qualification helped your career? Has the knowledge you have acquired complemented previous work experience in any way?

The qualification has enhanced my nursing skills. In particular, the minor injury module helped in my assessment of treatment of minor injury patients.

Can you describe your experience with just one word?

Rewarding.

What would you say to anyone considering an online course at Derby?

Make sure you have the time and dedication to do the course, as it takes a lot of commitment and drive to complete it. You need to be able to self-motivate, as unlike being at a campus university you are managing your own time, and have to ignore distractions – which at times can be really difficult!

That said, the online support with your peers, and being able to study whenever suits you, really made up for this. I would definitely use this method of study again.