Blog: Courtney Ritchie, 2020 Further Education Student of the Year

Congratulations to Courtney Ritchie, our 2020 Further Education Student of the Year! Courtney started on our SCQF Level 6 Sport and Fitness programme in September 2019 and worked hard to achieve her aim of progressing onto the HNC Coaching and Developing Sport, even continuing to engage in her studies whilst pregnant and in hospital!

Congratulations! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Courtney, I’m 19 years old and I have just graduated from the College Certificate (SCQF Level 6) in Sport and Fitness at Moray College UHI. I became a mum to my little girl, Roxy, in April who goes to the college nursery whilst I attend classes, as I am now going on to study the HNC in Coaching and Developing Sport full-time.

Why did you choose to study at Moray College UHI?

I did consider other colleges but I choose to go to Moray College UHI as it was closer to home and meant I could still make it to football training without having to miss any training sessions. Ever since I started doing sports at Forres Academy I knew that I wanted to do something along the lines of sports coaching, so this course and the location was perfect for me.

How have you found the transition from Further Education to Higher Education?

The progression from SCQF Level 6 to HNC hasn’t been stressful at all as I knew people from the previous year who were also progressing into the same course, and I also knew the lecturers who have been really supportive.

How did you find the support you received from your tutors and lecturers?

Due to being pregnant I ended up missing some classes but my lecturers were all very supportive in terms of helping me to catch up with what I had missed and gave me alternative options on how I could submit my work while I was in hospital. The lecturers here at Moray College UHI are happy to work with you on whatever you need help with and will try to find examples in things that you enjoy to help you learn and remember the information you have been told. My lecturers were also able to help me get placements throughout the year in the sports that I was interested in.

What have you gained from this course?

The course helped me gain a lot!

As part of the course I did work placements throughout the year by coaching football sessions with local schools. I was able to improve my session plans as I became more confident in delivering sessions knowing the kids were going to enjoy them.

The modules on the course were well balanced and covered a range of areas that are important when it comes to the different aspects of sports and fitness and makes it more interesting as you don’t study just one area. Every week its more engaging and the lecturers were always willing to help no matter what.

Where would you like to go with your career in the future?

I knew when I started the course that I wanted to do something with sports and fitness, but I wasn’t sure exactly what aspect of it that I wanted to do. However, by doing this course it has helped me to decide that I would like to be a sports coach or potentially become a PE teacher. My next goal after completing the HNC is to move up onto the HND and then advance into the 3rd year of the degree.

What are the highlights of studying at Moray College UHI?

All the students in your class become pretty close and are all cooperative. So if there was something you missed or need help with there is always someone in the class that can help you out.

If you could describe your course in three words, what would they be?

It would be… fun, interactive and informative.

We look forward to following Courtney’s journey and can’t wait to see where the future takes her!

We have expertise in a range of subjects, so if you want to find your future, we will support you to achieve your goals whether you are leaving school, returning to education or looking for a career change.