The New Year offers a chance for a big change, with Lews Castle College UHI offering a host of courses that open doors for school-leavers, work-returners or simply those ready for a new challenge.

Study options from night-classes to degree courses are detailed now online as LCC-UHI lays out courses from the creative to the practical, and from deep-dive research to stimulating new topics.

The start of a new term in January means the beginning of a new block of study, with students like Heather Randle keen to explain how support and structured learning helped her plot a path towards a new career.

Heather began to study for an HNC in Health Social and Childcare Studies but was unsure as to the direction her career might take her. She was also concerned whether she had the skills or the daily routine that would allow her to study effectively – all concerns answered by what was on offer.

She said: “This course offered insight into a variety of roles within the care sector. It was whilst doing the courses that my interests began to veer more towards working with children. The teaching and support I received throughout my studies was exceptional and I cannot praise the lecturers enough.

“As an adult returner I was very nervous. I had three dependent children and no experience of computing whatsoever. I was never sure that I was going to be able to complete even the first year of study, but the lecturers did everything they could to support me both academically and personally. They were understanding of my individual circumstances and were flexible where possible to suit my needs. 

“My HNC gave me the qualification essential to my current job and enabled me to gain experience in childcare whilst doing my degree, as it gave me the qualification needed to register with the SSSC.

“The degree, although not necessary for my current job, has been a means of expanding my understanding of child development and the needs of children.

“It has definitely given me greater confidence in my ability to fulfil my role and meet the needs of the children in my care, while working in partnership with their parents. It also means that there are other options for me should I wish to change my career at any point in the future.”

Experiences like Heather’s can be shared through a variety of continuing professional development (CPD) study options, including introductory modules that help students explore areas they think might interest them further.

For example, Introduction to a Career in Social Care ( is made up of five units that look at the sector in general, the essential skills for working within it, personal qualities, professional qualifications and sector regulation.

Exploring a career is just one element of what is offered from January onwards, with chances to expand or begin acquiring skills in the maritime sector, engineering and construction or in business, admin and IT.

For other students, the priority may be knowledge development to fulfil an interest or to support an existing role in the community but, whether you are a January school-leaver or a mature student wishing to build your skills portfolio, there is something for you at Lews Castle College UHI.

The full list of courses available from January is listed here together with all the contact details and advice needed to find out more.